Go-ahead for 505-home north London scheme

Plans have been approved for up to 505 homes on a former telephone exchange site in north London, in line with a recommendation from planners who concluded that the scheme's 35 per cent affordable housing provision weighed 'strongly' in its favour.

A visualisation of the finished development at the former Colindale Telephone Exchange in Barnet, north London
A visualisation of the finished development at the former Colindale Telephone Exchange in Barnet, north London

The London Borough of Barnet last week approved a hybrid planning application for the scheme which is proposed for the former Colindale Telephone Exchange site.

Alongside the homes, plans include up to 743 square metres of commercial floorspace in buildings ranging from three to 17 storeys.

Full planning permission was sought for the 244-home first phase of the scheme, with outline consent for the second and third phases.

A planning committee report, recommending approval, said that, "of significant note, is the affordable housing provision of the scheme which will comprise of 35 per cent which is in line with the mayor of London’s housing and viability supplementary planning guidance and is significantly above the level of affordable housing that has been delivered on similar sites in the local area".

Planners noted that an adjoining development delivered 20 per cent affordable homes.

"Officers consider that the level of affordable housing should be considered as significant benefit to the scheme and should weigh strongly in favour of any balanced judgement to be made", the report said.

The report said that the continued use of the site for employment purposes "is unviable and undesirable" and the change of use to provide a residential-led mixed-use scheme was therefore supported by officers.

Planners said that the the residential density of the scheme, equating to 234 dwellings per hectare, was "in excess" of the "optimum" density range of 45 to 170 units per hectare for sites such as this, as set out within the London Plan density matrix.

But planners considered the density to be "appropriate for its location and would be expressed in a building scale and form which is considered to be acceptable".

The report also said the scheme had been "design led and the layout has been well considered in order to ensure that there would be a good quality of accommodation for future occupiers whilst also ensuring that the scheme would not unacceptably impact on the residential amenity of adjoining residents".

The plans were approved, subject to referral to the mayor of London.

In July, the neighbouring London Borough of Brent approved plans for a 2,900-home scheme rising up to 25 storeys high on a former industrial estate.

In August, plans were submitted for a 1,000-home mixed-use scheme at Tottenham Hale in the neighbouring London Borough of Haringey.

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