FROM: HENDON AND DISTRICT ARCHAEOLOGICAL SOCIETY
3 Westbury Road
London N12 7NY
TO: London Borough of Barnet
Strategic Service (Planning and Housing)
North London Business Park
Oakleigh Road South
London N11 1NP
7th January 2009
LOCAL DEVELOPMENT FRAMEWORK
BARNET’S CORE STRATEGY DIRECTION OF TRAVEL
HADAS is the only archaeological society in the Borough of Barnet, and has for many
decades conducted research, including a large number of excavations, throughout the borough.
It is based in Avenue House, Finchley. It is concerned with the whole historic environment,
and not simply that part of it which is buried. It engages with the public through lectures,
events and community projects with schools.
HADAS welcomes the opportunity of participating in the process Barnet Council is now
embarked on of producing a Local Development Framework to replace the old Unitary
Development Plan, and offers the following comments on the ‘Direction of Travel’ document
which was issued for consultation in November. The comments all relate to matters omitted
from, or dealt with much too cursorily in, the document.
We note the references to the character of Barnet and its historic environment in the
document. They are welcome so far as they go, but they do not go anything like far enough,
and should have a chapter to themselves (as the natural environment has in Chapter 11) or at
least a separate section in Chapter 9. This chapter or section should, in particular, outline the
council’s policy on conservation areas (as the UDP did in Policies HC1 and following) and on
the ‘local listing’ (as it is currently termed) of buildings of importance to the borough’s
heritage and townscape character - as the UDP did in Policies HC14 and 15. It should also
mention the wealth of nationally listed buildings which Barnet enjoys - Barnet is, I believe,
very high in this league table among outer London boroughs. Examples of policies on these
matters which Barnet could usefully emulate are in Policy 9B of the draft Core Strategy of
Islington, and in SP10 of the Tower Hamlets Core Strategy.
Archaeology in the narrower sense makes even less of an appearance in the ‘Direction of
Travel’ document - indeed I have found none at all. This must be rectified, and it must be
made clear to the people of Barnet and to developers that the Council will insist on proper
archaeological investigations in advance of any development where it seems possible that
there are buried remains, and that the results of any investigation will be made public.
Including Archaeological Priority Areas in one of the maps would be very helpful.
Another omission is of museums. There are two perfunctory mentions, one of Church House
Farm Museum in the context of the library estate, and the other of the RAF Museum in the
Colindale box in Chapter 7. One would not guess from this that the RAF Museum is a
National Museum which the Council should be proud of having within its area. Nor is there
even a mention of other museums, such as the Barnet Museum in Wood Street and the
Stephens Collection in Avenue House. This contrasts pointedly with the several paragraphs
devoted to the various types of open space. Although not really within HADAS’s remit, the
document appears to neglect culture and the arts completely (there is not even a mention of
the Arts Depot in North Finchley, let alone the various smaller arts centres). Surely they are
significant in land use terms, and in making Barnet rather more self-contained, and not a mere
dormitory suburb whose inhabitants look to central London for their entertainment (Chapter
12, rightly, sees local employment opportunities in such a context, and as reducing the need
to travel). We ask for a chapter devoted to culture and the arts in their widest sense.
We hope that the Council will follow the suggestions we have made, and that the next version
of the Core Strategy will deal adequately with all these matters. We give notice that if it does
not, we shall seek to persuade the Inspector that their omission makes the Core Strategy
P E Pickering
Registered Charity No 269949