The owners of a former pub who demolished the building leaving a boarded-up, vacant site on a busy high street have been told to take action or face having to rebuild the demolished building.

The former ‘After Office Hours’ pub, located on the busy High Street in High Barnet, was demolished shortly after receiving planning permission in 2017 to clear the way for a project to replace it with a three-storey building incorporating a bar and homes on the upper floors.

Demolition work began despite a planning condition requiring that a contract for the construction of the new building be in place first. Three years on, the scheme with planning permission has yet to be constructed and the owners have submitted plans for a new scheme.

Last month Barnet Council’s Planning Enforcement Team issued an enforcement notice requiring the owners to construct a building with the necessary planning permission on the site within the eight months stipulated in the notice, or have to rebuild the demolished building to the same design.

Councillor Shimon Ryde, Chairman of Barnet Council’s Planning Committee, said: “The building which was demolished was in a prominent location on a very busy high street within a conservation area. The failure to build something in its place has left an unsightly gap in this stretch of the street.

“It is rare to issue an enforcement notice in this way but it is very important that our planning team work to do all they can to make sure the appearance of the High Street is protected.”

More information on the work of the Planning Enforcement Team, and details of how to report a breach of planning control, are available online

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