Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Barnet Council sneak through plans for a new Highway through the heart of Mill Hill

As ever, if Barnet Council want to sneak through a highly contentious and divisive issue, they do it on the sly. Typically they will do this as a Delegated Powers Report, which doesn't require discussion by the Council, which is done by officers with no democratic discussion. Secondly, they will do it in the middle of August, when no one is looking. Thirdly they will give the DPR a very neutral name, which disguises the real meaning of what is being done.

So it is again this year. I happened to notice this DPR -  http://barnet.moderngov.co.uk/ieDecisionDetails.aspx?ID=4259 - entitled "Highway Improvements to Bittacy Hill". Who could possibly think that such a DPR, signed off by Pam Wharfe, Interim director of Environment, Regeneration and Planning could possibly be in any way contentious? Nothing in there to worry about?

Think again. Behind the bland title, there is a huge scheme being implimented, by stealth and with no democratic debate or accountability. This scheme will effectively divide Mill Hill in two halfs and threaten a nature reserve. It will blight many homes and will have a huge effect on traffic levels through the Borough.

The real intention of what is being done is only mentioned briefly in section 8.3. It says
The proposed highway works will entail the reconstruction of the existing Bray Road access to the proposed development as part of the proposed East-West link road at its junction with Bittacy Hill

If you look carefully at the map associated with the plan, their is a big arrow at the edge of the development, directing traffic down Sanders Lane. If you look at Google, this road is shown as one long road. The road actually becomes a footpath, through a nature reserve shortly after Brownsea Walk. Barnet Council Highways department have long dreamed of making a highway from the Mill Hill East development, down Sanders Lane, into Tavistock Avenue, across Pursley Road, Down Ashley Walk, across Copthall Open Space and down to the A1, making a major intersection. This road would effectively divide Mill Hill and Mill East in two. Traffic would proliferate and huge numbers of homes, which are currently quiet roads in cul-de-sacs would become blighted by constant traffic.

The fact this is being snuck through is typical of the way Barnet Council operate. I will be writing to our local Councillors to insist they call this in and get the Highways department to explain their true intentions. I will also be notifying the Mill Hill Preservation Society and other local pressure groups.

If the council persist with this plan, I would suggest that this would spell the end of the Conservatives in Mill Hill and the end of Mill Hill as a nice place to live. I will publish the response from Councillors Hart, Schama and Khatri in due course. I will also be emailing Councillor Brian Coleman and Dean Cohen. I wish to know the true intentions of the Council in this respect and I suspect only Brian Coleman really knows. Finally, I will be emailing Pam Wharfe for the full details of the plan. As ever, nothing surprises me with Barnet Council. The Email to Ms Wharfe will be under the auspices of a Freedom of Information request.

1742 - Highway Improvements at Bittacy Hill                                                           

Map Bray Road                                                           


Richard Logue said...

This is possibly the most serious abuse of Mill Hill that Barnet Council have ever attempted. Proposed East West Road? This is just the start isn't it?

baarnett said...

Reopening the railway beyond Mill Hill East has been suggested. Otherwise Sanders Lane reopening is back on the cards. That road is on an embankment alongside the newish housing on the gas works site (this is from memory), so people would have traffic at first-floor level, alongside their homes, if it ever happens.

baarnett said...

The new road across the barracks site was going to be directly in line with Sanders Lane, but even members of the cabinet twigged that this was somewhat obvious.

Now the new road is a little to the north, and there is a dog-leg, using a bit of Bittacy Hill.