Mill Hill Preservation Society
...making change worthwhile

MIll Hill Planning Today

GAS PEAKING PLANT: Land adjacent to the National Grid Sub-station, Partingdale Lane

Installation of a gas peak power facility generating up to 49.9MW of electricity including Electrical Transformer Units; Electrical Sub-Station; Gas Kiosk; Oil Storage Tanks; Compressed Air Building; Associated works and provision of parking bays and security fencing and lighting; Application number 19/6641/FUL on the LBB planning portal.

The Applicant has not proviided visulas as to how it will look. The image below is not exactly what the installation will look like, (probably blacker and dirtier) but is our best attempt and it does give a good idea of the general engineering feel and scale - and don't forget there will be two of these: (The flues are not right here as they will combine into one chimney 11 metres high.)

This application falls within the Green Belt next to a footpath and is within the Mill Hill Substation pastures SINC which is of Metropolitan importance. The plant is massive with 11m high chimney to collect the products of combustion.There will be noise pollution as well as air pollution. This proposal is also close to the Millbrook Park residential development, as well as other long established local dwellings. MHPS have objected to the proposal for the following reasons:

1. Harm to the Green Belt and its openness
2. The development conflicts with the purposes of the Green Belt
3. The application does not comply with Council Policy DM15 - Green Belt and open spaces 
4. The application does not demonstrate 'very special circumstances'
5. The proposal does not meet the Mayor's policies on climate change and wildlife habitat
6. Air pollution data is inaccurate and its impact significantly greater emissions
7. Lack of meaningful landscaping

MHPS does not know when this application will go to the Council's Planning Committee - but we shall post the outcome in due clourse.



IBSA House, The Ridgeway Residential Development  December 2019

This application is number 19/6551/FUL on the LBB planning portal and is for the redevelopment of IBSA House - the commercial space and the printing works.The description is for the demolition of existsing print-works/factory buildings and redevlopment of the site to provide a total of 197 residential units in total, including conversion of the IBSA House office building into 61 flats and the erection of 5 new blocks ranging from 3 - 6 storeys in height to provide 136 flats. There is proposed basement and surface level car parking for 1917 cars and facilitioes for 344 cycle spaces. Associated alterations to landscaping and ancillary works. An aerial view of the proposal is shown below:

It is our opinion that this application is unacceptable on a number of grounds, but most critically, the Applicant has failed to address the matter of the principle of a change of use of the site in the first instance by failing completely to address Policy DM14. It is not acceptable for a developer to 'cherry pick' policies considered to apply to them to best suit their case. Further to this MHPS are of the opinion that the proposal will result in an incongruous development on a sensitive site adjacent the Green Belt and will result in a loss of trees that will exacerbate the impact of views into the site and lead to a loss of residential amenity.  We believe the application should be withdrawn and reconsidered.

What the Mayor has said...

The LBB submitted the scheme to the Mayor under the Stage 1 Referral process and he has submitted his report to Barnet (GLA/5257/01) and we summarise part of i here:

Principle of development: The proposed residential redevelopment of the site within an Area of Intensification is strongly supported in principle subject to providing the maximum viable level of affordable housing.

Affordable housing: The quantum (5%) and mono-tenure nature of the proposed affordable housing is wholly unacceptable. GLA officers seek
significant improvement to the quantum and tenure diversity of the affordable housing offer and will robustly interrogate the financial viability assessment to ensure that the maximum amount of affordable housing, with an appropriate affordable tenure mix is secured.

Urban design: Whilst the scale, massing and layout of the scheme is acceptable, there are concerns that the proposal is designed as a gated
development. The applicant should revise the internal layout of the IBSA House building and provide clarification on the purpose of the management office. The access gates to the front of the site should be removed to ensure open access to the development.

Transport: Car parking should be reduced in line with the Mayor’s Intend to Publish London Plan. Improvements are required to the site layout to improve walking and cycling and the applicant must increase the electric vehicle charging provision. Conditions and obligations are required.

Sustainable Development: The applicant should provide further information regarding energy and urban greening.

We await further changes to scheme to complky with the demands of the London Plan.



Pentavia Retail Park 2020

Pentavia Application Withdrawn:

It is proving very difficult to obtain information on the Pentavia. However, we have seen on the Council website that Meadow Residential LLP has withdrawn their application 17/8102/FUL in a letter to the LBB dated 6th March 2020. The application has not been determined and no section 106 agreement has been signed. We quote… “Please take this letter as formal notification by both Meadow Residential LLP and Meadow Mill Hill Ltd that the above application has been withdrawn forthwith.”  Possibly a pause for celebration…
This has implications that may take a few moments to sink in. It means that the site has not obtained planning permission for the level of accommodation proposed i.e. 724 flats together with a ‘very tall building’. Therefore the last application approved for the site is 15/01825/FUL for a retail development with additional café, restaurant and gym. There seems to be no real logic as to why Meadow Residential should take this action, especially after all the work that has been put in – unless they had an offer they could not refuse! As to a possible purchaser  of the site we have failed to establish anything yet, but we do have a couple of notions. The site was sold in September 2013 for £27.8 million – so whoever buys it now is going to have to have deep pockets. We include  the withdrawal letter below: Watch this space.



Pentavia Retail Park 2016

Please note these notes are in chronological order - go to the end date for the current situation:

Redevelopment of the site to provide 4 new blocks ranging from 7 to 9 storeys following demolition of all existing buildings. Provision of 685 Build to Rent residential units with ancillary facilities; 846 m2 A1 (retail); 570 m2 A3 (restaurant and café) and A4 (drinking establishment); and 289 m2 D1 (community) use floorspace. New vehicular and pedestrian access off Bunn's Lane linked to new internal roads and provision of new privately and publicly accessible outdoor amenity space. Provision of lower ground floor and surface level parking and new associated refuse and recycling arrangements. The application is accompanied by an Environmental Statement. [AMENDED DESCRIPTION] |Pentavia Retail Park Watford Way London NW7 2ET: Application 16/6420/FU

The Amended Description covers the following proposed changes to the scheme:

  • Residential units reduced from 695 to 685

  • Block D redcued by one storey

  • On site car parking reduced from 479 to 343 spaces

  • reduction in on-site cycle parking spaces

  • Landscaping revisions

MHPS believe these changes do not reduce the density problems and transport issues sufficiently.

"The HORROR of the proposed development of Pentavia Park Mill Hill can be seen in the ‘projected’ images below. We are sure you did not settle in Mill Hill with the expectation that this leafy suburb could be destroyed with such a monstrous proposal. The Council’s Local Plan should protect us, and moreover we hope the Mayor Sadiq Khan will exert his power and have the submission turned down." (extract from the Neighbourhood Forum Facebook) 

ACTION: The revised scheme is now with the Mayor and so drop him an email if you are worried by the density, the height, the design, the damage caused to the amenity of Mill Hill, traffic congestion, and overdevelopment – but please stick to the planning issues otherwise it will not count:

and email Sadiq Khan:
and the deputy Mayor: 

Old Scheme Photographs 2017



The application has been revised and a new scheme has been submitted 17/8102/FUL see images below. The project description is as follows:
"Redevelopment of site including the demolition of all existing buildings and construction of 717 new Build to Rent residential units (Use Class C3) along with 745 sqm of ancillary residential facilities, 985 sqm of retail floorspace (Use Class A1), 558 sqm of food and drink uses (Use Class A3 and A4), 152 sqm of community floorspace (Use Class D1) within buildings ranging from 5 to 15 storeys, a new pedestrian access off Bunns Lane, open space, landscaping, car parking, acoustic mitigation and highway / pedestrian improvements (Environmental Statement Received) | Pentavia Retail Park Watford Way London NW7 2ET"

If you wish to object you can still write to the Mayor (as above) or you can contact the Planning Officer at Barnet on email:
You can view our letter of objection for this application on this website under MHPS Planning Reports.

New Scheme Photographs 2018

SITUATION July 2018:

At a meeting on 25th July 2018 Barnet Council Planning Committee refused the application numbered 17/8102/FUL. Many local stars spoke against the scheme including Andrew Dismore GLA, Val Duschinsky Local Ward Councillor, John Gillett chair Neighbourhood Forum and Roger Titchborne Liberal Democrat candidate. Only the developer spoke for the scheme. The latest proposal is for 724 Flats with 500 car parking spaces - plus 40 for commercial uses and visitors - and more than 1,200 cycle spaces. The mix was generated by a density calculation for an Urban site applied to a Sub-urban setting. A trick we do not approve of! The planning officer in his report to the council said:

However, it is clear that the development as proposed is of a height and scale which is wholly at odds with the established character of the surrounding areas and would represent an excessive and incongruous form of development. Officers consider that the level of harm that would arise from this excessive scale and incongruity would be significant enough as to outweigh the benefits of the scheme and to justify refusal of the application."  

Situation June 2019:

Another application has been made by Meadow increasing the number of flats to 844 residences, with (we understand) parking for 366 cars, some residential ancilliary faciliuties and some non-residential floorspace. The scheme does nothing to address our previous objections and the buildings range from 4 storeys to 16 storeys high. The Society has objected to the proposals. Of most concern is that the scheme now plans to have overspill car parking on the local streets.
We understand that the scheme now goes to a hearing with the Mayor on Friday 26th July 2019, when a planning decision will be made by Sadiq Khan.

Pentavaia NEWS RELEASE - Mayor of London:

Mayor Approves more than 800 new homes in Barnet - July 25th 2019

A major development in north west London of 844 new homes - of which 41% will be affordable - has been approved by the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan. Plans to redevelop the disused Pentavia Retail Park in Mill Hill were rejected by Barnet Council in July 2018 because members of its planning committee felt the scheme was an over-development of the site and would not provide enough affordable housing. The Mayor 'called in' the application last November in order to subject it to further scrutiny before making a decision. The scheme approved by the Mayor will provide more affordable homes than were delivered across the whole of Barnet in the year 2017-18.

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: "This is a classic example of an underused site with the potential to deliver significant numbers of homes, including affordable homes at social rent and London Living Rent levels. I'm clear that I will use all the levers at my disposal to increase the delivery of new genuinely affordable homes across the capital. It's testament  to the hard work of my planning team that, since I called this application in for further scrutiny, they have been able to increase the level of affordable housing even higher t8han it was previosuly".
"As such, having considered all the evidence available to me, I've decided to approve this application."
After consideration the Society has applied to the Secretary of State to intervene and to reconsider the decision by the Mayor. We have had some good letters of support sent to the Secretary of State from the community and from our MP Matthew Offord. We thank you all for these efforts. We do not know when this matter will be considered.

Pentavia Situation January  2020:

In January we heard that the Secretary of State had decided not to call in and not to overturn the decision made by the Mayor to allow the scheme to obtain  planning permission. We tried very hard, along with other groups and residents, to block this regretable development that will blight Mill Hill. We would like to thank members and others who wrote to the Council and to the Mayors office objecting to the proposals. Democracy has not been seen to be done it seems
MHPS cannot believe for one minute that this is the end of the matter and we await further developments. 
We include here the letter that notified us of the decision made by the Secretary of State:



National Institute of Medical Research

Redevelopment of the site to provide 460 new residential units following demolition of all existing buildings. New residential accommodation to consist of 448 self-contained flats within 19 blocks ranging from three to nine storeys with basement car parking levels and 12 two storey houses with lower ground floor levels. Associated car and cycle parking spaces to be provided. Provision of new office (B1a) and leisure (D2) floorspace and a new publicly accessible café (A3). Reconfiguration of the site access and internal road arrangements and provision of new publicly accessible outdoor amenity space. New associated refuse and recycling arrangements. The application is accompanied by an Environmental Statement. [Amended description] | National Institute For Medical Research The Ridgeway London NW7 1AA: Application 16/4545/FUL

Some time ago now the Society attended a meeting at the NIMR on The Ridgeway to discuss the programme for the move to The Francis Crick Institute in St Pancras. The NIMR building was to be vacated by Autumn 2016 - but the process has been stretched out. MHPS has been involved with the design development of the site by Barratt London who won the bidding stage for the development. The cruciform building was subject to a architectural design competition which was won by De Metz Forbes Knight architects for the reconstruction to match the original building including a green copper roof. The wider scheme suffers because the car parking, which whilst meeting the London Plan, does not really provide enough parking for the environs of Mill Hill. Furthermore, the other buildings seem somewhat unrelated to the character of the Consevation Area in which the site is located. Views from the Totterigde Valley are contentious as the new buildings will be more prominent above the tree line. The scheme was turned down at the council planning meeting on the 22nd February 2017 and we await the outcome of this.

The Mayor has called this scheme in, and is acting as the Planning Authority. We understand that it is not likely that the building designs will change, but that the level of parking provision may be reduced. The scheme waS considered formally in October 2017 and has now been approved with more trees but less car parking. Demolition started in March 2018 and the works are underway. If you want a good view of the Totteridge Valley from The Ridgeway now is a good time to see it with the old buildings taken down.

NIMR Current Situation July 2019:

A new application has recently been made ref 19/3208/S73 to add 52 additional homes to the scheme. These will be within the existing structure and the space will be found by rejigging the flat sizes and losing some 3 bedroom flats. There will be the same proportion of Affordable Housing spaces as the approved scheme and the parking provision will be in proportion as well. There will be no additonal buildings, but some of the blocks will have windows and balconies in different places. There will be no additional overlooking to Burtonhole Lane. Our main  concerns related to the crusiform building and changes have been made to the design so that the original award winning scheme is respected. So far the Mayor and the Local Authoiry have been consulted and it looks as though this application will succeed.



Mill Hill East - Millbrook Park

Outline application for the comprehensive redevelopment of the site for residential led mixed use development involving the demolition of all existing buildings (excluding the former officers mess) and ground re-profiling works, to provide 2,174 dwellings, a primary school, GP Surgery, 1,100sqm of 'High Street' (A1/2/3/4/5) uses, 3,470sqm of employment (B1) uses, a district energy centre (Sui Generis) and associated open space, means of access, car parking and infrastructure (with all matters reserved other than access). Full application for the change of use of former officers' mess to residential (C3) and health (D1) uses.Application H/04017/09

Outline Planning permission was granted on 22nd September 2011, for the proposed development of the Inglis Barracks site located in Mill Hill East. The scheme is divided into various phases and the status of each phase is shown below:

Outline Planning for Master Plan Granted - 22nd September 2011 - H/04017/09

Phase 1  - H/04080/12   - Planning Permission Granted - 22nd April 2013

Phase 1A - H/03548/12 - Planning Permission Granted - 31st January 2013

Phase 2   - H/03904/12   - Planning Permission Granted - 18th April 2013

Phase 2A - H/04606/12  - Planning Permission Granted - 8th April 2013

Phase 3    - H/03860/13  - Planning Permission Granted -18th November 2013

Phase 3A - H/00065/14  - Planning Permission Granted - 25th March 2014

Phase 4A - 15/01546/RMA - Planning Permission Granted - 1st July 2015

Phase 4B - 16/2719/RMA - Planning Permission Granted - 15th July 2016

Phase 4C - 15/06898/RMA - Planning Permission Granted - 10th March 2016
                  revised application 18/0635/RMA - Planning Permission Granted - 3rd April 2018

Phase 5   - 17/3304/RMA - Planning Permission Granted - 25th September 2017

Phase 6 - Open Space within phase 6 - Millbrook Plaza - 16/4389/RMA - Granted 3rd November 2016

Phase 6 - 18/6352/RMA - Planning Permission Granted 13th March 2019

Phase 6A - 15/0335/RMA - Planning Permission Granted - 24th September 2015 (Barry M factory Unit)


Phase 6B - 15/06417/OUT - Outline Planning Permission Granted - 13th May 2016
                    18/6640/FUL - Application for 87 flats was refused - 23rd July 2019: Appeal in progress 19/00362/AREF
                    19/5827/FUL - Futher application for 82 flats made  - 30th October 2019 and Approved. 


NB: There are considerable issues with this scheme overlooking the adjacent Scout campsite and beacause of the proposed very large car-park basement on the boundary line, many trees screening the Scout site are likeley to be lost. The outline planning permission granted did not have these issues. We await the outcome of the Appeal made by the Applicant.

Phase 7 & 8 19/3092/RMA - Planning Permission Granted 11th September 2019

Phase 9A & B - 17/7662/RMA - Planning Permission Granted - 1st March 2018

Phase 10 - 18/2891/FUL - Planning Permission Granted 2nd August 2018


The Society has been involved with deciding road names for the development. This is almost completed.



Belmont Children’s Farm

It’s many years since the establishment opened - and during this period we have made objections to the Council, along with others, without any obvious success, because we believe planning permission is required. We decided to send a ‘letter of concern’ to the Council on the 8th October 2010 – which was immediately put into the Council’s ‘Complaints Procedure’. As we received no satisfactory reply to our letter we took the Complaints Procedure to ‘Level 2’ with a further letter of concern dated the 8th November 2010. The Council served an Enforcement Notice on 5th November which was due to take effect on the 10th December 2010 unless an appeal was made against it beforehand. The owners of the Farm have appealed against the Council's enforcement notice and comments needed to be submitted by 26th January 2011 to the Inspector. The Inspector concluded that the children's farm use and associated development was inappropriate in the Green Belt, is harmful to the character and appearance of this part of the Mill Hill Conservation Area and causes noise and disturbance to neighbouring residential occupiers. The position now is the requirements of the notice: the cessation of the children's farm and ancillary cafe use and the demolition and removal of the fences, animal and bird enclosures are required to be carried out by 27th March 2012, but on this date the facility seemed to be still in full swing in spite of the closure notice. A further application has been made to relocate the Children's Farm and ancillary uses into the existing Riding School building further down the valley. The Riding School is also in the Green Belt. The Society has objected to both applications. The office of the Mayor of London has commented that the proposals as they stand do not meet the London Plan. In December 2012 the proposal to relocate the children's farm deeper into the Totteridge Valley was passed by the local authority, and the The Mayor of London raised no objections. The approval relates to the re-location of the Children's Farm, not for it to stay on the existing site. 
Recently a planning application has been made utilising existing buildings to provide a 5 bedroom bungalow in the Green Belt.  However the application for the bungalow in the converted stable building to be vacated when the children's farm is relocated was refused (Jan 2013). The applicant has Appealed against the refusal which will be processed through written representations. MHPS objected. The Inspector has allowed the Appeal so the bungalow scheme can go ahead when the Children's Farm is relocated. Subsequently there has been an application to extend the hours of opening, which has been refused, and is now the subject of an Appeal to which the Society has further objected. MHPS heard this week, 26th June 2014, that the appeal had been dismissed.

Currently there is an application with the LBB for a new nursery school on the site for 100 children, to be constructed in similar style to the bungalow that has approval (H/04537/14). The application is described as - Demolition of existing ancillary buildings and erection of single storey buildings and associated changes to landscaping. (Amended Description). Belmont Farm The Ridgeway London NW7 1QT. (Application number 17/1982/FUL). The school is a non-conforming use in the Green Belt, and we see no 'very special circumstances' that would be relevant to the NPPF. The proposal is also in the Conservation Area and the increase in traffic will be an issue, as The Ridgeway already suffers from traffic congestion caused by the many schools along it's length. The Society will be objecting.

The scheme was approved by the Planning Committee 30th March 2017 but the Council Webside is showing that the planning decision was not issued until 5th December 2017. Approval of details of conditions has been applied for; see 18/0601/CON and 18/0471/CON - both pending consideration.



St Vincent's School

Improvements to the school grounds to create level areas to be used for outdoor sports, growing fruit and vegetables, informal recreation and general outdoor education and play | St Vincents Catholic Primary School The Ridgeway London NW7 1EJ. Application 17/1204/FUL

The Society are concerned about this application. Whilst it has some good elements our main concern is the amount of landfill in the Green Belt and Conservation Area to produce the new sports pitch. There will be a loss of wildlife habitat and an increase in the potential flooding risk to Woodcote Avenue. Other issues of concern are that the sports pitch could present a noise issue to adjoining houses and we find it hard to accept it will not have a high fence round it and eventually end up with some floodlights.The amount of landfill will generate considerable lorry journeys on The Ridgeway, which is an  already busy road. We have objected to the proposals and our submission can be read on this website under Events & Planning - MHPS Planning Reports. 
The scheme was refused planning on Tuesday 2nd May 2017. The Applicant went for Appeal - that was dismissed.

However, another application was made in March 2018 which was very much the same as the previous one. This was refused in June 2018.
The Society, along with many local residents, objected to the loss of the wildlife reserve under landfill. The applciation was refused with the following explanation:

"The changes to the levels of the land and associated development would be out of character with the natural setting of the site and would erode the landscape character of the area within the green belt to an unacceptable degree contrary to Policies CS NPPF, CS1 and CS5 of the Barnet Adopted Core Strategy (2012), Policies DM01 and DM15 of the Adopted Development Management Policies DPD (2012) and the Adopted Residential Design Guidance SPD (2013)."



Hasmonean Schools, Copthall

Demolition of existing Girls school and construction of a new combined Boys and Girls school with vehicular access from Champions Way including 167 car parking spaces and 220 cycle parking spaces, three pedestrian accesses north, east and south of the site, along with associated landscaping (including swales), sports and recreational areas and ancillary buildings for energy centre and service yard, security gatehouse. School drop-off and pick-up space will be set out adjoining land | Hasmonean High School 2 - 4 Page Street London NW7 2EU: Application 16/6662/FUL

There has been a lot of local controversy about this scheme as is takes about 15 acres of the Green Belt at Copthall plus the site of the existing Girls' school off Page Street to build two new schools for Hasmonean. The proposal conflicts with the National Planning Policy Guildelines, The London Plan, the Barnet Core Strategy, and the Copthal Park Developpment Brief. The new schools keep the girls and boys completely seperate. It claims that traffic chaos will be reduced on Page Street as the entrance is to be off Champions Way, which leads into Page Street - so we feel the congestion will be more because there will be two schools. At a council planning meeting on 22nd February 2017 the scheme was approved by a vote of 6-5 in favour, this being against the planning officers recomendation. The scheme will have to go to the Mayors office as it was passed contrary to the London Plan and we await his comments.
Local organsiations, MHPS included, are trying to find ways to fight this gross flaunting of the planning regulations.

Last week (July 2017) Sadiq Khan, London Mayor, overturned Barnet Council's decision to grant planning permission. The Society believes the Mayor has only followed planning law, stating the proposal would have had an 'excessive' impact on the Green Belt.
The Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Sajid Javid, intervened after a request for the scheme to be called in. The Government has the power to overturn the Mayor's decision but we believe in doing so it would have to go against Green Belt legislation.
We understand the school representatives are meeting with the Mayor to discuss a way forward. The Mayor has already suggested he would consider a new scheme that was designed to use the existing girls' school site, thus minimizing the impact on the Green Belt. The Mayor has also stated that transport issues would need to be addressed.
It is now March 2018 and so far we have heard nothing new, but we fear that some sort of deal may have been done to allow some sort of development.



Cemetery off Milespit Hill

New access road and car parking facilities with maintenance shed, Barnet Cemetery And Memorial Gardens, Milespit Hill, London NW7 2RR: Application 14/08161/FUL
An application was made for a Mausoleum building in the Green Belt, which caused considerable local concern and to which the Society objected. The application has been withdrawn and we await further developments.Subsequently an application for the cemetery infrastructure without the mausoleum was refused in October 2015. There has been an appeal the result of which is now known. The appliant's appeal was upheld and so the new internal road, parking area and maintenance shed can go ahead. Access to the cemetery area will have to be through the adjacent Westminster Cemetery site. The proposed new acccess onto Milespit Hill was an issue and the Inspector has ruled that this should be used only in emergencies, and not as a regular point of access.
We understand the site is now being purchased, or has been purchased, by the London Borough of Barnet to use as a cemetery so the fear of a mausoleum has receded.



updated regularly by MHPS (03042020)