As a local resident of Hendon, Matthew continues to share the many concerns about the proposals for the Hendon Hub.
Two and half years ago, when the proposals were first made known to residents, Matthew submitted a response to Barnet Council which highlighted serious reservations about the scale of the plans, loss of community facilities, change to heritage buildings, loss of parking and, most significantly, the impact an enlarged university will have on Hendon.
Matthew says: "I do not believe there has been any significant change to the proposals and my concerns remain. A campus model university is being imposed on a largely residential area and the residents of Hendon, myself included, are being side-lined in favour of the University. The student population brings few additional benefits to Hendon. There is, however, more litter on the streets, evidence of drug-related activities, parking issues and graffiti. The introduction of an additional 400 student units will exacerbate this.
"Hendon is essentially residential, characterised by two-storey family homes. The scale of these proposals is totally out of character with the area, parts of which are designated conservation areas. The proposed 6 and 7-storey blocks and 5-storey rotunda will result in excessive density, a loss of privacy, overlooking and a total change to the residential and historic nature of Hendon.
"The area around the university constitutes the historic heart of Hendon and is home to the 1,000 year old St Mary's Church as well as a number of Grade II listed buildings, particularly in The Burroughs. There is no apparent attempt to blend in or harmonise with this environment; indeed, the height and design of the proposed buildings are completely out of keeping with the historic environment and will only have a detrimental impact.
"Residents have long suffered the effects of houses of multiple occupancy (HMOs) and, contrary to the assumption in the proposal, students not able to live in the dedicated accommodation within the ‘Hub’, will seek accommodation in the surrounding area which will lead to a loss of family homes as they come up for sale and an increase in the number of HMOs.
"Commensurate with this will be an increase in demand for parking which is already an issue in the area. The loss of public car parking space is a concern both to residents and local businesses. This is an area of parking stress, exacerbated by students, and the requirement for residents' parking was recognized when the local CPZs were set up.
"Whilst there is little doubt that the need exists to replace the outdated buildings like those on the Ravensfield/Fenella site, the current proposals are University orientated and will do nothing to enhance or blend with the historic nature of the area; in fact, the historic street scene will be irrevocably changed forever.
"These proposals have hardly changed from the initial plans and I ask Barnet Council to listen to residents and look again at the scale and design of the proposals and the number of student units."
You can read my original objections here: Save Historic Hendon | Matthew Offord