Here you will find answers to the common questions raised with us through the public consultation. If you cannot find an answer to your question, please use the contact details provided to get in touch with the project team.
What changes have been made from the previous application? / How many units will the proposed scheme include?
We have been given a very clear steer by the community, planning committee and officers as to the positive areas of the previous scheme such as opening access to the Recreation Ground and replacing the railway crossing) and the points to address in bringing forward this new application. We have listened to the feedback and the revised proposals have led to fewer properties on the site, reduced heights and massing across the development and more family homes.
The proposals at a glance:
- 544 properties across the development
- Maximum heights of 8-storeys in line with the approved 2017 scheme
- Increased building separation to protect privacy and improve permeability
- Improved amenity space which better integrates with Victoria Recreation Ground
- Higher provision of family homes, including 4-bedroom properties
Will the new homes all meet recognised standards for provision of sunlight?
Yes, we will ensure that all homes meet the required daylight and sunlight standards.
How many units will be affordable?
One of our parameters is to ensure that we still deliver 35% affordable housing, with a tenure split weighted towards London Affordable Rent, which is set at levels broadly comparable to social rent. We think this is important not only in policy terms but as part of providing the housing needed to actually meet needs in Barnet.
Where will the affordable units be located on the site?
Our building footprints are broadly set by the completed basement and the other constraints on-site, so we can confirm that the affordable housing will be spread several of the buildings on the site.
You already have planning consent for the 371 homes, why not build these?
The situation with the existing consent has not changed. One Housing secured planning permission to redevelop the site with 371 new homes in 2017, and completed its initial remediation works in November 2019. However, the site’s former use as a gas works has made remediation work extremely complex and costs particularly high. Since the original application, planning policy has been updated to make maximum use of brownfield sites, as is reflected in the 2020 London Plan. This, combined with changes in the housing market and increased housing costs, means that the existing consent is unviable and undeliverable.
Can you please discuss your viability calculations that explain why the agreed 2017 consent is no longer viable?
We understand the wish to see detailed viability calculations, but these are commercially sensitive and therefore not to be disclosed. The fact that One Housing started remediation works associated with the consented schemes shows that every wish existed to deliver it, until this couldn’t be achieved for all the reasons stated elsewhere.
How many parking spaces will there be?
The revised proposals will deliver 334 parking spaces which ensures that a greater proportion of homes will have access to car parking, at approximately 61% of all properties proposed. This remains within the bounds of Transport of London’s (TfL) guidance for a site such as this. The priority will be for young families to have access to a personal car, whilst all residents will benefit from the strong transport links.
Car use is in decline, whilst there is a sustained increased demand for new homes. Given that only 38% of people in the local area travel to work by car, the proposals will seek to deliver a balance between the need for parking and mitigate against any potential impacts on nearby traffic. Barnet also has a target to increase the number of trips made by sustainable modes. As such, one of our parameters for the new scheme is to not exceed the existing consent of 396 parking spaces for the site, nor dramatically reduce that number. The refused scheme had a 60% parking ratio which was the maximum TfL would accept and this is something we are looking to maintain.
Are there any plans to provide cycle routes in the local area to counteract the increase in traffic on the busy roads and increase in air pollution?
Our proposals will enable sustainable transport through improved connectivity for pedestrians and cyclists, alongside the provision of new cycle parking spaces. The proposals will also include car club spaces and free car club membership to residents, to ensure access to a car is available when required, without the necessity of owning a car. The car club will be available for use for residents living in the wider area.
As well as maintaining no more than the current level of parking provision and the aforementioned sustainable travel initiatives, we’re also proposing funding for a public consultation and implementation of a Controlled Parking Zone (CPZ), meaning that Victoria Quarter residents can’t apply for parking permits on local streets. This will be subject to its own consultation should the Council continue to support this approach.
As part of a future planning application, we will be submitting a Transport Assessment, including a Healthy Streets Assessment to identify any changes to the public transport network associated with the development. Through this, we can identify any specific improvements as part of the Community Infrastructure Levy contribution.
How long will construction take and how will Fairview minimise disruption?
Both Fairview and One Housing have excellent track records in delivering large, high-quality developments across London. The five-year construction period will inevitably cause some disruption, but we will be subject to a Construction Management Plan agreed with the Council.
Clear channels of communication will also be maintained throughout construction, allowing us to manage any issues that do arise. Given the concerns raised it will be our intention that such documents are prepared and considered in the planning application so residents can input to them from the start.
Are there any plans for the bridge/tunnel?
As set out in the previous proposals, we still propose the removal of the existing pedestrian bridge over the railway and replaced with a well-lit footpath at grade.
What steps will be taken to alleviate oversubscribed schools and medical facilities?
As part of the planning process, Barnet Council will assess the capacity of existing public services such as GPs, schools, dentists, etc. If, as a result of our proposed development, a need for additional services/facilities is required, this will be identified by the Council.
An agreed financial contribution will be provided to Barnet Council via the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL), which is a standard payment made by developers and includes covering the provision of education and health facilities to use at the discretion of the Council.
The CIL contribution will be calculated on the number of units developed and so a precise figure has not yet been calculated. This is a straight tariff and reflects what Barnet needs to fund services specifically arising from the development. It is paid when the development is commenced or soon after.
What arrangements have you made to make the development safe and accessible for those less mobile?
Accessibility, connectivity and permeability are among the main functional aspects of the design which will inform the final site layout. We will be ensuring that 10% of the properties are disabled adaptable and a proportion of the parking will be disabled spaces, exceeding the London Plan requirements of 3%.
Where there is a level difference down to the park, we are proposing steps, but also proposing ramps at a gradient. We are also proposing paving suitable for wheelchair use to ensure the development is widely accessible.
Why did you choose to build over the basement?
Starting remediation works showed One Housing’s full intent to deliver the consented scheme, with several factors (outlined in the viability answer on this page) subsequently rendering the scheme unviable and undeliverable. The basement of the existing 2015 planning consent addresses the constraints of the diverted sewer and adopted highways, and our proposed building lines must sit within it. The site constraints and the need to provide car parking at a reasonable level have dictated that the original basement proposal is still valid and in accordance with the permitted scheme.
What are your plans for public/communal space and access to the Recreation Ground?
Our proposals remain designed to integrate sensitively with the neighbouring Victoria Recreation Ground, improving access and connectivity, and creating an enhanced public realm. This includes a new gateway garden, green pedestrian links, and a park plaza to create a natural transition between the Recreation Ground and the surrounding area. This is something that was broadly welcomed through our previous consultation process, and we welcome further input regarding this element of the proposals.
This will all be managed by One Housing in the long term, ensuring that the public realm on-site and greater connectivity to the Recreation Ground are a legacy benefit for the community and Victoria Quarter residents. This commitment has already been established, with the refused application including a contribution of £283,721 to Victoria Recreation Ground.
Do Fairview sell the homes themselves, or give the site and properties to a private company to let and sell?
Should the scheme be approved, Fairview will then develop the site and the units before being sold and let by Fairview to residents.
The 35% allocated for affordable housing will administered by One Housing. One Housing is committed to managing Victoria Quarter in the long term, including an onsite management presence.