Land adjoining The Whalebones

UPDATE – public exhibition 7 February 2019

You are invited to a public exhibition of proposals for new homes, public open space and a studio building for the Barnet Guild of Artists and the Barnet Beekeepers.

Following on from last year’s community workshop a detailed set of proposals have been drawn up.

We would like your views before we finalise the plans and submit a planning application.

This exhibition will take place on:

Date: 7 February 2019
Time: 2pm-8:30pm
Venue: Artists’ studio adjoining The Whalebones, Wood Street.

Please drop in at any time and for as long as you wish. You do not need to stay for the entire event.

At the exhibition you will be able to view detailed plans of the proposals, speak to the design team and leave feedback to help us shape the scheme before we submit a planning application to Barnet Council.

The studio is reached via the drive leading under the Whalebone arch on Wood Street. Follow this from the entrance and keep right where the way forks.

Whalebones House is a private residence and we would therefore request visitors be respectful of their privacy.


The Trustees of the land adjoining The Whalebones have appointed Hill, an award-winning residential property developer, to explore options for new homes on the site.

Hill are working closely with the local community and the community groups that use buildings currently on site, in order to develop plans for a sensitive, high-quality residential development on part of the land, new publicly-accessible open space and a new home for the Barnet Beekeepers Association and Barnet Guild of Artists.

Whalebones House itself and the cottage on Wellhouse Lane are not part of the land under consideration.

The overall vision for the land adjacent to Whalebones House:

  • High quality residential development on part of the land, in a sensitive style that complements and enhances the existing neighbourhood and conservation area
  • Retention of mature trees and hedgerows, improved landscaping, and preserving the leafy character of Wood Street
  • New publicly-accessible green spaces and footpaths through the site
  • A new home for the Barnet Guild of Artists and the Barnet Beekeepers, designed in close collaboration with those groups

Work done to date

The project team held a community workshop in July 2017 with local residents and community groups, which focussed on an early discussion on the constraints and opportunities on the site. This event also included initial ideas for how parts of the site could be opened up for community parkland alongside the development proposals.

A copy of the summary of issues raised at this consultation is available here:

Since 2017, specialist consultants have been undertaking various surveys in order to obtain a thorough understanding of the site’s trees, heritage and ecology. Alongside this, a set of design principles and early masterplan options have been developed taking account of the survey results and previous consultation outcomes.

2018 community workshop

To further explore the options, we invited local residents surrounding the site to attend a second community workshop in early June. Meetings were also held with local stakeholder groups.

The presentation given at the community workshop included:

  • Identifying parts of the site for a sensitive residential development, along with identifying land to be brought in to use as public open space and to incorporate a purpose built home for the Barnet Guild of Artists and the Barnet Beekeepers. The initial masterplan shows how around 50% of the site could be delivered as publicly accessible open space and community uses
  • An outline masterplan
  • Design precedents to explore the architectural styles and materials that might be suitable for the conservation area
  • Early designs for the new home for the Barnet Guild of Artists and the Barnet Beekeepers

Public consultation exhibition materials

A public exhibition of proposals for new homes, public open space and a studio building for the Barnet Guild of Artists and the Barnet Beekeepers was held on 7th February 2019.

Download the materials we showed here by clicking below. Please return comments to or if you have any questions please call +44 (0)344 225 0003.

What and where is Whalebones?

Whalebones is private land off Wood Street. It has been managed for around 30 years by trustees of the late Gwyneth Cowing, who owned and lived in the house and its grounds. Whalebones House itself, along with its immediate gardens, is under separate, private ownership and is not part of the land under discussion here.

Why does the land need to change?

The costs of maintaining the land adjacent to The Whalebones are increasing, the funds available from Miss Cowing’s legacy are dwindling and there are increasing incidents of trespassing on the site. With this in mind, the Trustees are seeking to find a long-term solution and are exploring the idea of sensitive redevelopment of parts of the site.

How to get in touch

Should you have any questions please contact GL Hearn by emailing

or by calling on 0344 225 0003.