Barnet Council is consulting on its Local Plan and its long-term transport plans that aim to plan how the borough is going to grow in the years to 2036, with new homes including affordable housing, and new spaces for business, sport and recreation; and cater for the expected growth in the borough’s population over the next 20 years and build on current transport options.
Councillor Shimon Ryde, Chair of Barnet’s Planning Committee, said: “Barnet is a great place where people choose to live, work and study. We must plan to make sure it stays that way and has enough homes to accommodate our growing population. We want to hear the views of residents and businesses on our approach to planning for the future of Barnet.”
Barnet’s excellent schools, vibrant town centres, vast green spaces and diverse communities are among the many factors that make it a popular place where people choose to live, work, study and visit.
The plan says growth will be focussed in the most sustainable locations such as town centres and places with good public transport, and will be supported by infrastructure such as schools and health facilities, as well as open spaces. Barnet is planning for over 3,000 new homes every year for the next 15 years, and is planning for at least 35 per cent to be classed as ‘affordable’ housing. New policies have been introduced on ensuring new homes are built to a liveable size, providing stronger protection for existing housing from conversion and short-term lets, and encouraging wider housing choice with new forms of tenure such as Build to Rent.
There is greater emphasis in the Local Plan on making Barnet’s town centres more attractive and safe places to visit and enjoy during the day and evening as well as encouraging investment.
Consultation on the first formal stage of the Local Plan concluded on 16 March.
The council’s Draft Long-Term Transport Strategy 2020-2041 outlines proposals to support population growth through a safe, reliable and convenient travel network that improves air quality and public health.
Councillor Dean Cohen, Chair of the Environment Committee, said: “This transport strategy is aimed at making Barnet a better place to live, work, study, and visit over the next 20 years. We want to make it easier to get about, particularly given the significant future increase in families and older people in Barnet. The infrastructure we have today will not be fit for the larger population of tomorrow. This family-friendly strategy also sets out how we will help people lead healthier and more active lives and reduce the damaging effects of air pollution.”
Barnet is already home to 394,400 residents – more than in any other London borough. This figure is expected to grow to almost 450,000 by 2030, with many more elderly people.
As there is a finite amount of road space in the borough, congestion can only be addressed by reducing reliance on the car. The council is encouraging residents to use more sustainable and active methods of travel such as walking, cycling and public transport.
The strategy sets out plans to improve various methods of transport, with greater travel options made available for residents to help them lead more active lifestyles.
The consultation will run until Friday 24 April 2020.