Monday, 8 June 2020

Update from the Save The Hendon Midland Hotel campaign

Two weeks ago we sent out the developers' leaflet " New Homes and a Secure Feature for The Midland Hotel" to all our friends and supporters in Barnet and beyond, inviting their comments and opinions. 
Clearly, different people have different views, which we readily acknowledge, so it has been our task to collate a consensus opinion from the feedback.  

To further that aim, we attach new developers' architectural drawings sent recently to us. 
Please feel free to send us any comments and observations on these more detailed plans for the pub and the accommodation blocks B and C.

Our current position is:

Click image for more readable view
* Car Parking. 
There are currently twelve car parking spaces within the boundary of the site; the new plan allows for three, limiting the pub's operational flexibility and making it less attractive as a destination/live-music venue.That is unacceptable to us.

* Construction of an upstairs outdoor terrace to replace the current ground floor facility
We ask what specific need this new terrace satisfies, given there is a serviceable and popular beer-garden/patio in situ on the ground floor, and we point out that upstairs terraces bring many problems of their own: accessibility for wheelchair users, the infirm and aged, and problems for nearby residents - noise, overshadowing, loss of light and privacy.  

Click image for more readable view
* Schedule of Works. 
On this issue, which contains some of the most worrying aspects of the new plan, we have no information so far. 
We do not know if the developers intend to close the pub, and if so, when and for how long. Nor do we  know what will happen to the existing licensee, long-term residents and existing staff members in such circumstances.  
The lack of detail at this point in the consultation process is unacceptable. Further, we are well aware that once planning consent has been given, local councils have no control of the timescale in which a closed pub is reopened - evidence The Carlton Tavern, Maida Vale, closed this last five years; The Olde White Bear, Hampstead, bar closed for six years; The Railway Hotel, Edgware (Barnet) closed for an extraordinary twelve years. 
Unsurprisingly, we are wary of falling into such a predicament ourselves. We must be careful not to blunder into trading away what we have today in exchange for unenforceable promises of jam tomorrow.

These concerns have been put to the developers' agents this week, and we await their reply.

Our Asset of Community Value (ACV) listing and our subsequent Local heritage listing are the yardsticks by which we must measure any new proposals for the site, ensuring that they are in the best long term interest of the pub and the local community. 
Our feeling is that the new proposals fall short of meeting those objectives. 

We are against any large-scale construction work on the pub which might change the intrinsic character of this fine old Victorian building, the oldest in the area; 
we oppose the unnecessary loss of nine car parking spaces and the loss of the existing beer-garden/patio, both important components of our ACV listing, which Barnet themselves have recognised.  

We will keep you posted on developments as they unfold. 

In the meantime, please continue to send us your opinions, comments and questions via 
As said before, it is important to gather as much consensus as possible to what residents and patrons feel about the future of the pub and the site.

Dave Paterson 
The Barnet Eye blog fully supports the aims of the campaign to retain this vital community asset.

1 comment:

Local resident said...

It is good that the pub is to be retained but what is the point of trying to make it into some sort of gastro pub?

The purpose of development of the entire site including the rear redundant scrap yard is to maximise flat units in two dense and tall blocks.

Rather than work on the original building itself to enhance facilities to attract clientele,the owners should focus on the land available around the pub to extend outdoor or indoor use rather than shove them on the upper floors.

These proposals are just a mass (as well as a mess) of the cubby hole flats stuffed into a strip of land next to a motorway. No parking provision at all for the new residents. Instead of designing aesthetically and conservatively, the owners have gone for slightly lower but denser blocks and trying to pass this off as an improvement.

It appears that they are not really listening to those 600+ objections from before.