I must confess I was upset to read about the demolition of the Turrets pub in Friern Barnet. It was a landmark building, in which I'd spent a few very decent evenings in my youth. The story is told on the Hendon Times website here
Am I alone in finding it demoralising to see just how many landmark buildings have been demolished in the Borough in the last ten years? Not only that, but the green belt is being ripped apart bit by bit.
Last week we featured an article on how Barnet council are selling a plot of green belt land and have not even mentioned that it is in the green belt. Check the details here
Dountless they are hoping to encourage speculative developers from far and wide.
We have also seen the Belmont Childrens farm open on green belt land without planning permission, bringing hoardes of visitors. Whilst a few locals enjoy having a waffle cafe and a petting zoo on the site, do they really think that the destruction of the green belt is a price worth paying? I am all for tearing down ugly buildings and giving people decent homes. There is a chronic shortage in Barnet. I do not agree that developments should destroy the green belt or the nature of the area.
In Mill Hill Broadway, we've seen one church rebuilt (The Sacred heart), One church massively refurbished and it's church hall rebuilt as flats and a prestige development on the site of the other church. Around the corner in Goodwyn Avenue, we had a massive building development on the site of the Methodist church, with it's lively and well attended youth club.
We have seen the loss of Mill Hill Swimming pool, first to a Garden Centre and now to a school. We have also seen the loss of the Mill Hill Sports Club with its playing fields for a school development. Now on there own any of these changes are perhaps non contentious, but what has happened is Mill Hill is becoming more unrecognisable by the day. We will see the closure of the Medical Research Centre in 2015 we've seen dozens of gardens have dwellings built in them (many without planning permission). We have seen allotments turned into commercial operations, with the council turning a blind eye.
Even developments which bring tangible benefits often bring a ream of problems for the neighbours. An example of this is the massive CPZ imposed on Mill Hill by the council, following the Saracens development.In this case all of the responses from the consultations and representations by local councils were ignored.
In 2014, there is a council election. We have the opportunity to change things. Will we take it? More to the point, will anything be left to save by the time the election comes around?