'Ambitious' housing for Edgware part of the Local Plan review

12th August 2022

Barnet Council is reviewing and updating the Borough’s planning policies in a document, known as the Local Plan. Here's everything - from an Edgware perspective - summarised in 15 points.

The Council

1. What's the purpose of the Local Plan?

The Local Plan sets out a vision for how Barnet will change as a place over the next 15 years and forms a strategy which emphasises the Borough’s attractiveness as a place to live, work and visit.

2. Why is it important?

The emerging Plan will provide the main basis upon which future planning applications will be determined.


3. What does the draft plan say about Edgware?

Edgware Town Centre is identified as an opportunity for regeneration and intensification, supported by high existing Public Transport Accessibility Levels reflecting its potential to become an Integrated Transport Hub. It is also "one of Barnet’s main town centres" but to become a major town centre there must be "compelling reasons for people to choose to visit and stay in the town centre"

4. What makes good planning in the eyes of the Council?

The Council will support planning proposals that optimise residential density on suitable sites while delivering improvements to the amenity of the area.

5. What's the big picture of all this?

• 5,000 new homes;

• Improved leisure options such as a new cinema, swimming pool and new eating-out options;

• Appropriate floorspace for community, retail and office uses;

• Improved public realm, including new public spaces;

• Transformation of the relationship between the rail and bus stations and the wider town centre to improve the pedestrian experience and reduce congestion;

• Retain existing levels of employment and pursue opportunities for new jobs.

6. And what's the smaller picture?

Two key sites are identified for regeneration and new homes:

Site 27 includes the Broadwalk Centre (owned by Ballymore), Premier Place (newly developed) and the Forumside (behind the Railway Hotel, mixed ownership).

Site 28 comprises Edgware bus and Underground stations, platforms and tracks and areas of open land to the south and east. It is in the ownership of TfL.

The Council has prepared a more detailed planning framework Supplementary Planning Document, working with LB Harrow. You can find out more here.

7. What's significant?

Not only is this a huge proportion of the town centre set to change, but also The Local Plan sets a precedent for development over the next 15 years. If the draft is approved, so would the idea "Edgware is a strategic location for tall buildings of 8 storeys or more" and "the site’s high accessibility, town centre context and potential for tall buildings support a high density of redevelopment". We know these are controversial propositions, as seen from the community feedback to both the SPD and similar proposals.

The review

8. What's the review all about?

Last November the draft was submitted to the Planning Inspectorate for independent examination. These will be carried out on behalf of the Secretary of State for the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities.

9. What are they looking for?

The Inspectors’ task will be to consider the soundness and legal compliance of the submitted Plan, based on the criteria set out in paragraph 35 of the National Planning Policy Framework 2019 (the Framework) and associated regulations.

10. What's happening now?

A number of informal debates will take place on the principal matters identified by the Inspector, these are called Hearing Sessions. These will take place over the autumn.

11. And after that?

At the end of the examination, the Inspectors will prepare a report to the council with precise recommendations, these may include changes to the Plan, if a request is made by us. Subject to the outcome, the Council will adopt the plan in mid-2023.

Have your say

12. How can I get involved?

The arrangements to take part, and to observe, the hearing sessions are to be confirmed. In advance of the publication of those details, you need to confirm your intention/request to participate to the Programme Officer (Ian Kemp: by 5.00pm on Friday 19th August 2022.

13. What local issues will be discussed in the hearings?

Responses are invited from participants on a list of Matters, Issues and Questions (MIQs) raised by the Inspectors. The main conversation around Edgware will be focused on these questions:

  • "Taking account of the evidence accompanying the Plan, the levels of housing growth sought in the Edgware Growth Area appear particularly ambitious when considering the site opportunities identified (Sites 27 and 28) on Map 3C [map above] and other relevant policy considerations relating to matters such as tall buildings, flood risk and heritage assets:

  • a) Is Policy GSS05 [the bullet point at 5. above], justified, effective and consistent with national policy in those respects?

  • b) If not, would the Council’s proposed modifications be sufficient to achieve soundness or would further changes to the policy be required?"

14. Any other discussions about Edgware?

Edgware is also mentioned as a sub point about town centres:

  • In terms of the approach of the Plan to defining District Town Centres (Policy GSS08):

      • How were the boundaries identified and what factors were taken into account in defining the potential for Barnet’s Town Centres (beyond Cricklewood and Edgware) to deliver a minimum of 5,400 new homes?

15. I have an opinion about my local area, what can I do?

As at 12., there are opportunities to take part in the Hearings. The deadline to make your request is Friday 19th August. We (Edgware Voice) would love to hear from you if you can make it!

You can also submit written statements: "other participants may, if they wish, submit written statements addressing the issues and questions set out for the sessions they are attending which are relevant to their particular representations".

And finally, although it does not directly engage with the review, you can always leave a comment on our website to bulk up our community feedback page. These could come in useful later on, or even to reference if you get the chance to take part in the Hearings.