New council pledges on development & the Green Belt

24th June 2022

There were some promising pledges from the new Barnet council last night, as The Barnet Society reports:

Barry Rawlings, who became leader of the council after his party’s success in the May elections, told the annual meeting of the Barnet Society (23.6.2022) that he and his fellow Labour councillors were determined to take a new approach.

Among several new pledges, those of current high interest to Edgware include:

Planning, currently outsourced to Capita, is to be brought back under council control.

Councillor Rawlings said the practice of charging for pre-planning advice produced an annual surplus for the council of £4 million but it had to cease because Barnet had become a borough where “people don’t trust the planning department”.

Capita’s internal safeguards had not worked. They were not transparent or accountable and it appeared to the public that the council was acting on behalf of developers.

He was appalled at the size of the tower blocks that were being proposed: two tower blocks over 25 storeys in West Hendon, next to the Welsh Harp; a 28-storey tower block close to Colindale station; two blocks over 20 storeys high in Edgware.

“Personally, I am not happy with anything over 12 storeys in height.”

There will be no building on the Green Belt or land open to the public.

Councillor Rawlings’ aim was to for Barnet’s Green Belt land and open spaces to be declared a regional park which would assist the council to obtain government grants and help provide enhanced public access.

This is excellent to hear just months after the news Highview Estate bought Green Belt land by Edgware Way.

We now hope these promises are matched by actions of support. There also remains discussion over the size of new development in Edgware - would you be happy for 12 storey buildings in the town centre?

You can read the full Barnet Society article here.