Go-ahead for 1,200 homes on former police training college site in north London

Plans for the 1,200-home third phase of the redevelopment of a former police training college in north west London have been given the green light, despite concerns about the scheme's height and density.

An aerial view of the Colindale Gardens scheme (Pic: Redrow Homes)
An aerial view of the Colindale Gardens scheme (Pic: Redrow Homes)

The London Borough of Barnet initially granted planning permission for redevelopment of the Hendon Police College site, now called Colindale Gardens, in December 2015.

This granted full planning permission for the first phase of the development, alongside outline consent for the second and third phases.

According to a planning report on the third phase application, the first two stages of the scheme allowed for a total of for 2,900 homes and associated development, of which just 89 remain to be built, as well as new public open space and a primary school.

The third phase application, submitted by housebuilder Redrow Homes, sought hybrid planning approval for up to 1,200 homes in buildings of up to 26 storeys, along with up to 351 square metres flexible retail floorspace and other associated works including further public open space.

Full consent was sought for a 212-home block, alongside associated demolition and site preparation/enabling works, and provision of landscaping, car parking and infrastructure works.

Outline consent was sought for the remainder of the development.

According to the planning report, considered by Barnet Council's planning committee last week, local MP Matthew Offord had opposed the application, saying that due to alterations to the original application, "the height and density have significantly increased and will have an adverse impact on the rest of this development as well as the wider area".

A further 67 letters objected to the application, objecting to the height of the proposed 26-storey block, and also to parking provision, impact on traffic and local services, and loss of light to neighbouring properties, the report noted.

However, planners considered the proposals were "appropriate in scale and form, being broadly [commensurate] with the earlier phases which have either been built out or under construction in Stages 1 & 2".

Officers also found that the design of the proposal "including the proposed height and scale is considered acceptable and the proposal would not result in any significant problems of residential amenity or impacts on local infrastructure".

The report also noted that the developer was proposing that, across the whole of the third phase scheme, 35 per cent of the homes would be classed as affordable. This would rise to 48 per cent of the homes in the 212-home block.

The report advised that, in relation to Barnet Council's policies in terms of the quantity of affordable housing provided, "the development is under the 40 per cent required by Barnet Policy".

However, it added that a 35 per cent rate would accord with the mayor of London's Affordable Housing and Viability Supplementary Planning Guidance, the emerging [London Plan] policy position, "and represents a significant improvement over the 20 per cent provided in the original outline approval in 2015".

According to the report, the scheme is liable for a £9.45m payment under the Mayoral Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL), and a further £28.5m under the Barnet Council CIL.

The application will now be referred to the mayor of London for further consideration.

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