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Sunday, March 3, 2024
HomeCommunityApproval given for Fortune House development in Barnet

Approval given for Fortune House development in Barnet

Plans to build a five-storey residential scheme in High Barnet have been approved by councillors despite concerns over density, traffic, parking and a lack of affordable housing.

The approved scheme is set to provide 41 homes in a block replacing the trade kitchen suppliers Howdens, situated at the end of Moxon Street. It will consist of 18 one-bedroom flats, another 18 two-bedroom flats and five three-bedroom flats.

There will be 15 residential car parking spaces and two spaces for commercial use, alongside 279 square metres of employment space. Three of the car parking spaces will have charging points for electric vehicles.

This development is the latest one of several happening in Moxon Street. In January, an adjoining development of 92 homes at Intec House was also approved, while a special educational needs school is set to open on the street in February 2024. The private Hadley Wood Hospital also recently opened there as part of the area’s wider redevelopment.

A consultation on the proposals for Fortune House drew 34 objections from residents and local interest groups, such as the Barnet Society. Complaints included overdevelopment of the area, the proposal being excessive, and no provision of affordable housing.

Speaking at the planning committee meeting yesterday (Monday 5th), a resident of Snowberry Close which sits behind the site said the compounded effect of various local developments raised serious concerns over population density as well as traffic safety and parking issues.  “The Fortune House and Intec developments will increase the population by probably 250 people,” he warned.

Regarding concerns over parking, the resident added: “Their plan to offset this is to say there is unrestricted curbside parking in Manor Road which is ten minutes away. However, curbside parking at Manor Road is already at capacity.” 

In response a planning agent said in terms of their parking assessments, they referred to Transport for London’s guidance for their calculations.

Committee member Danny Rich asked the planning agent why the developer was only setting aside £50,000 for affordable housing.  

The agent responded: “It is a difficult time for developers delivering affordable housing, all I can tell you is we have two sets of viability consultants who agree it’s not viable to provide affordable housing, [but] £50,000 is being made as a gesture to show there’s support for some level of provision.

“The developer is taking an element of risk to try and deliver the site at the current levels, even with that level of affordable housing proposed.” 

Another committee member, Danny Longstaff, asked why only three of the 17 proposed car parking spaces were designed for electric vehicles, adding Barnet was the borough with the highest number of electric vehicles in the country. In response the agent said the other spaces could be converted in the future if the demand allowed for it.

Following the debate, the application was unanimously approved.