Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Mill Hill Sports Club pays the Price for overdevelopment in Barnet

The Barnet Council Cabinet resources committee are debating how they murdered Mill Hill Sports Club on the 27th September. There are two items for discussion :-

The transfer of the lease on the site to Barnet Council

The relocation of Orion School to the site of Mill Hill Sports club

This blog has been saying for years that Barnet is being overdeveloped. We've been saying for years that this will cause social problems and destroy the character of the Borough. Why do we need a new school? Because overdevelopment has made Barnet Council run out of school places. Section 9.4 of the report states :-
9.4 Area of demand: Primary aged children must be offered a primary school place within two miles walking distance of their home address. Sustained demand is projected over the next five years, 2012/13 to 2016/17, in the following areas.

Colindale, West Hendon, Burnt Oak and Hendon: 4FE rising to 7FE by 2015/16 18

Hale, Mill Hill, Edgware and Totteridge: 2 to 3FE

East Barnet, Brunswick Park and Oakleigh: 2 to 3FE

Coppetts, West Finchley, Woodhouse, East Finchley and Finchley Church End: 2 to 3FE

Childs Hill, Garden Suburb and Golders Green: 2FE


In other words, the overdevelopment of Colindale needs a virtual doubling of Primary School provision. 4 form entry to 7 form entry. So to meet this legal requirement, they sacrifice community facilities. Have they learned? Of course not. It's all very well providing school places, but what do these kids do when school finishes? As football and cricket pitches are ripped up, they are left with no choice but to hang around on Street corners.  It will get even worse, with the humungous monstrosity that will become Brent Cross.

The closure of Mill Hill Sports club and the building of a huge school complex on it's site, destroying forever playing fields, which have been used by generations of local families is just one of many little bits of a jigsaw, where green fields are replaced by concrete and tarmac. I discussed this with a local Tory - his response "It is nothing to do with overdevelopment".  Oh yeah, what about the enormous Beaufort Park site next door? "Erm, well the population in Barnet is going up anyway" he responded. "Yes,with people moving into the developments and then starting families". This country has a static birth rate. The reason the number of forms in schools rises from 4 to 7 is nothing to do with a shagfest or a breeding spree by people in Colindale inspired by the latest EastEnders story. It is because they are putting up huge blocks of rabbit hutch flats.

For residents of Barnet I have two pieces of advice. Firstly go and enjoy the green spaces now, before the Council destroy them all. The second piece of advice. Have a good long look at the sky, because you won't see too much of it once all the skyscrapers have gone up.

Isn't it odd how the Tory strongholds such as Totteridge (home of Brian Coleman) don't seem to be affected by the overdevelopment? Strange that?

Oh yes, one other thing. Report 6 states as a risk :-
4.2 At present, this site is under utilised in terms of its provision of facilities for the
community. Its use as a site for a school will correct this. There is a risk that Sport
England may require that part of the site continue to be used for sports purposes.
Dependant on the site area of the school to be built, this requirement may be able to be satisfied on site. Failing that, an alternative site for sport use will need to be identified
from the Council’s property portfolio.
Well they damn well will if I have my way. This whole scheme has been shrouded in secrecy, this is the first proper detail of what Barnet were planning.  Is that any way for a council to behave. Make the decision then consult people.

1 comment:

baarnett said...

Virtually all the increased population in Barnet seems to be on the western side - but the eastern side will not escape the extra pressure on everything - traffic, new east-west roads, overcrowding on the Northern line, and pressure to build facilities in green areas.

At least all the fat-cat consultants will find it takes a lot longer to get from NLBP to Hendon Town Hall, when they have to give evidence on how 'one Barnet' is going down the pan.