Regeneration and growth
Barnet is a relatively prosperous borough but with poor RSG settlements and little access to major government capital programmes. For regeneration to occur it was important to make our own weather. Fortunately, the borough had good land values, good connectivity to central London, an excellent education service and some of the best Green Belt anywhere in the country. Bringing all those features together it was possible to build new housing for sale that could cross subsidise replacement of the old poorly constructed or poorly laid out council estates.
Stonegrove and Spur Road
This 600 home estate in Edgware close is one of the first things you’ll see if you’re coming down from the North and exit the M1 at J4. It looks north over some of the finest Green Belt in London, and it should have been a landmark estate given its gateway into London, with each block being named after an aircraft connection: an engine, a plane, a maker, etc. Instead it was a ‘Large Panel System’ construction haphazard collection of tower blocks and low and medium rise homes built in the late 1950s and early 60s, and showing severe signs of distress.
Brian worked with the residents, architects and Barratt Homes to develop almost 1,000 new mixed tenure homes in six different neighbourhoods. Together with a new Academy school, the new development is the landmark that was probably always intended by the old Hendon Urban District Council.
New homes are available at Academy Court:
Grahame Park was named after Claude Grahame-White, the pioneer aviator, and built on the site of the old Hendon Aerodrome that he established in 1911. The RAF Museum sits next to the housing estate and is a wonderful place for men of a certain age who can remember making Airfix kits, or adolescent children who just like climbing in and out of machines.
Hendon Aerodrome had a proud history, pioneering aerial photography and night flying. Sadly there is not much to be proud of at the 1,800-home council estate that was supposed to pay tribute to Grahame-White. Built on the old inward-looking ‘Radburn’ design that separates transport from people, it simply left isolated those who had no access to a car. It quickly declined in popularity making letting difficult; as a result Grahame Park became a place of last resort experiencing all the stresses of inner city life such as drug dealing, crime and vandalism etc.
Brian Reynolds put together a talented team of council officers to redevelop both the estate and the disconnected Colindale area. He commissioned a Masterplan for the area, had it identified as an Opportunity Area in the GLA London Plan, and crucially obtained funding to replace two narrow Victorian railway arches carrying Midland main line trains, and which had prevented busses coming into Colindale from the east.
The new homes developed by Genesis and Countryside are inspirational for Colindale. By carefully selecting other developers, such as Berkeley Homes, and bringing forward other site opportunities, such as the old Colindale Hospital, Colindale is undergoing a remarkable transformation: from the most deprived part of Barnet, to the most exciting and vibrant.
The first phase of 300 new homes is built and sold, and the second phase is on site.
Something of a condemnation of 1960s and 70s urban planning, West Hendon should really have been a huge success. Built on the banks of the Welsh Harp reservoir, facing the noon-day sun and a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), what could go wrong? Quite a lot as it happened.
One of the most financially challenging of all projects Brian Reynolds has undertaken, the new Hendon Waterside is beginning to achieve the potential that its great situation should always have determined.
New homes are available at:
Lying within the economically buoyant Blackwater Valley, the sub-region has outperformed regional averages, with strong rates of new business formation, above average skill levels, and high average wages. It is strongly represented in the knowledge based sector (Sun Microsystems, EDS and Nokia) and high end manufacturing: aerospace, McLaren super cars, etc.
Camberley’s USP is a great retail offer, within an exceptionally nice area to live and bring up children. The regeneration of the town centre is to keep it at the forefront of Surrey for both business and private investors.