scroll down

Welcome

Welcome to the dedicated consultation website for revised proposals for the land adjoining The Whalebones, in High Barnet. Hill Residential Ltd and Trustees of the Gwyneth Cowing Will Trust and Trustees of the Gwyneth Cowing 1968 Settlement are bringing forward new proposals for the site which respond both to the feedback we received on our previous proposals in 2019, and the public exhibition we held on our new proposals in March 2023.

Following constructive consultation with members of the community, we submitted a planning application (23/4117/FUL) to the London Borough of Barnet in October 2023.

Following some further, minor changes to the proposals we amended our application in January 2023. Our minor changes included increasing the number of affordable habitable room to 35.1% and this has resulted in an increase to the overall number of habitable rooms from 489 to 493, and also allowed us to provide one additional home (115 in total).

We are pleased to share that the application has now been considered by the Barnet Strategic Planning Committee and has received planning permission.

More information about the application can be found on the planning portal here.

Don’t forget to register your interest in receiving additional project updates by using the  ‘Contact Us’ section below. You can also use this form to pass on your questions and queries and we’ll reply as soon as we can.

The Site

The Land Adjoining The Whalebones

The Site partially occupies a triangular shaped piece of land between Wood Street in the north and Wellhouse Lane in the South. It is located just to the west of the centre of Chipping Barnet, a historic market town surrounded with suburban development which forms part of the London Borough of Barnet.

An aerial photograph from 1946 shows the spread of suburban development north and westwards. Whalebones and its grounds to the north and east retains its parkland character. The land to the west has a distinctly different character having previously been allotments and in separate ownership until more recently.

Planning History

Previous Proposals

We previously brought forward plans for this site in 2019 which sought planning permission for the following:

  • Construction of an artists’/beekeepers’ studio building
  • New landscaping and public open space
  • Construction of 152 new residential dwellings

However, following extensive discussions with the community, the Council and the Planning Inspectorate, our initial plans were unable to secure planning permission.

Whilst we were disappointed not to have secured planning permission for our original proposals, the journey to our revised proposals has been guided by the Planning Inspector’s report, following the 2021 appeal decision.

Previous masterplan proposal

Issues that were identified during the appeal process with the previous masterplan and our responses to them are listed below, more details can be found on the boards linked in the Join the Conversation section:

Issue Response
Visual Hardening along the Wood Street boundary and loss of gap in streetscape Increase set back from Wood Street with limited views into the site
Impact of apartment blocks encroaching close to properties in Collison Avenue Avenue To reduce the visibility of the development by breaking up mass/form and reductions in height
Impact on setting of Whalebones House Increase separation from Whalebones House and reductions in height Impact on setting of Whalebones House Increase separation from Whalebones House and reductions in height
Reduced sensitivity to proposed housing, limited further harm to visual amenity Review form and mass
Prominent buildings with abrupt visual change Omit housing to retain openness and preserve setting of Whalebones House
Prominent buildings affecting setting of Whalebones arch Omit housing from back drop to preserve view of arch and retain openness

 

Our Proposals

Our Proposals

Hill’s revised proposals for the residential re-development of Whalebones have come forward through a two-stage process. Firstly, whilst Hill were disappointed to see their initial plans refused locally and by the Planning Inspectorate, it did give helpful guidance to everyone about what elements of our initial plans needed to be reviewed and adjusted.

By early 2023 these key scheme changes included:

The development is pushed back from the Wood Street frontage and the frontage broken up to provide more separation between buildings. Additional open space provided and landscape and biodiversity strengthened further. Access road is also angled to reduce visibility of development.

The Western boundary apartments have been replaces with 2 and 3 storey houses, and increased separating distances from Collison Avenue to improve views from the neighbouring scheme and across the landscape.

There is an increased separation from the Eastern boundary & Whalebones House. There are also lowered heights to reduce the visual impacts and create a more natural woodland path. The footprint has been rationalised to increase the visual permeability from the path.

The building line along Wellhouse Lane has been retained, although forms of development have been amended to reduce the scale and mass and will include mass planting. There has also been the addition of pitched roofs to provide consistent design across the site.

The Studio buildings have been retained but the approach is to be reviewed through consultation with Artists and Beekeepers to explore a more efficient design to achieve a reduced mass and scale.

Housing has been removed from the area east of the Whalebones House retaining openness in the view from the Whalebones arch, reducing the impact on its setting.

The homes north of the Whalebones House pushed northwards to reduce the impact on the Northern setting of the Whalebones House.

The second stage was Hill’s addition scheme changes brought about as a direct response to community comments received at and immediately after our public exhibition in March 2023. By August 2023 these key scheme changes included:

Increasing the distance between Wood Street and our proposed new homes. The distance now varies from approximately 26 to 40 meters.

Updated the design of the homes to reflect more closely the materials used in nearby homes.

Reduced the overall height of the development and its bulk and massing. As a result of these changes, our proposals have reduced from 118 homes shown in March, to 115.

Scheme Benefits

Scheme Benefits

We believe that the plans set out above have the potential to deliver a range of important and compelling public benefits, these include:

Public to experience a unique site all year round.

Delivery of 115 new homes, including 40.9% of these as affordable housing.

Approximately half the site to be delivered as publicly accessible open space including play spaces, healing hardens, ponds and meadows.

Long-term management plan for the site.

Re-provide a new and improved Artist and Beekeepers studio including space for community use.

Provide sensitive solution appropriate to conservation area.

Sustainable scheme, low in carbon, low in energy and low in impact and harm. SUDs, Solar PV panels, Air Source Heat Pumps.

Creation of Woodland Walk through the site.

Re-location of historic agricultural holding associated with Wellhouse Cottage.

Enhanced vegetation and landscaping working with existing ecological characteristics and habitats.

 

Join the Conversation

You can view further details of our proposals on the boards and newsletter linked below.

Whalebones Consultation Boards March 2023
Whalebones Consultation Newsletter August 2023

Thank you to those who provided feedback on our proposed plans.

Contact Us

Thank you for taking the time to visit our website on our proposals for the future of the land adjoining The Whalebones.

Should you have any questions or would like to get in touch with the project team, please complete the sections below:

    DISCLAIMER

    All information you give us will be stored safely, treated confidentially, and only used in connection with this project. However, these details are not required, should you wish not to provide them.