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London mayor slams Barnet scheme as ‘classic example of how not to do estate regeneration’

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The Mayor of London has caustically dismissed a Barnet scheme designed by Mæ Architects, Avanti Architects and Karakusevic Carson Architects as ‘a classic example of how not to do estate regeneration’

Sadiq Khan has refused permission for the regeneration of the Grahame Park estate in Colindale, saying it would result in the net loss of 257 affordable homes as 692 existing social rent units would be replaced with 435 under the proposals. 

Khan told Barnet Council, which approved the application last month and is working with Genesis Housing Association on the redevelopment project, that it must continue working with City Hall planners and the developer to redesign the scheme to replace the lost affordable homes.

He said: ‘This is a classic example of how not to do estate regeneration. I fully support improving social housing on this estate and across the capital, but this scheme falls far short of what I expect of London boroughs.

This scheme falls far short of what I expect of London boroughs

‘As I have made clear in my new London Plan, estate regeneration projects must replace homes which are based on social rent levels on a like-for-like basis. Londoners so urgently need more high-quality housing, not less, which makes this scheme completely unacceptable in its current form.

‘I have asked Barnet Council to work constructively with the applicant on alternative plans with greater density, which do not result in the net loss of affordable homes. Given its recent record in this area, I hope the council recognises the need to replace what would be lost at Grahame Park.’

The application was also deemed unacceptable for failing to provide a minimum of £840,000 to deliver additional bus capacity and suitable alternatives to private car use. 

The Mae-led team lodged its plans for the scheme, which include demolishing 630 existing residential units and building 1,083 new homes and a community hub comprising facilities such as a community hall, workshop rooms, daycare nursery and a GP health centre in July

Mae referred requests to comment to their client. A Genesis spokesperson said: ‘We are very disappointed to hear this decision and are in close dialogue with Barnet Council and the Mayor’s office to review next steps.’ 

A Barnet Council spokesperson said: ‘We are clearly disappointed by this decision. We will now be reviewing this with our development partner to agree the next steps.’

Project data

Location Grahame Park, Colindale, London Borough of Barnet, London
Type of project Housing
Client Genesis Housing for LB Barnet
Architect Mae, as lead architects, collaborating with plot architects Avanti Architects and Karakusevic Carson Architects
Landscape architect Camlins
Planning consultant Tibbalds
Structural engineer Campbell Reith
Project manager/cost consultant Jackson Coles          
Acoustic engineer/sustainability consultant Max Fordham
Access consultant Lord Consultants
Main contractor Countryside Properties
Funding HCA, Genesis Housing
Form of contract Design and Build

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