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Neighbours' concerns over multi-million pound regeneration of Dollis Valley Estate in High Barnet
A multi-million pound regeneration of a dilapidated estate will have a “devastating” effect on nearby homes, according to neighbours.
Residents of Mays Lane, High Barnet, are worried that three “overbearingly” large houses, part of the redevelopment of the Dollis Valley Estate, will be built behind their properties.
Neighbours have been shown provisional plans to build the three-bedroom, three-storey dwellings in Hammond Close, next to the estate.
But residents living in at least 12 houses in Mays Lane, which backs on to the proposed development site, say they will lose parking, rear access and that their gardens will be overlooked and in shadow.
John Davies, 63, keeps a vegetable patch at the end of his garden that he says will be plunged into darkness if the building goes ahead.
The retired tanker driver said: “None of us are happy about the plans. It is going to be devastating to have those built at the bottom of our gardens.”
Barnet Council, which is leading the social housing development, says no formal plans have yet been entered and that issues including loss of light for neighbours will be considered by its planning committee.
But Mr Davies says he was told by one council officer that the homes had already been allocated to families living on the estate, prompting fears that the development is “a done deal”.
Neighbours opposing the plans met council officers and L&Q housing association representatives last month to voice their concerns.
Mr Davies said: “Reading between the lines their response was ‘tough, we’re going to build it anyway’.
“We’re waiting for the plans to be entered so we can object to them officially but the way they’re acting it seems like it is a done deal.”
A nearby community centre and nursery would be demolished under the early-stage proposals, with new buildings incorporated into a block of flats further along the road.
Two large conifers and four ash trees will also be cut down and Mr Davies says he was told by a council officer they would be replaced “somewhere in the borough”.
A council spokesman said in a statement: “Once the plans are submitted, they will be carefully scrutinised to make sure any buildings meet all planning regulations including issues such as potential loss of light.
“The proposed new three-bedroom family houses will meet the need to rehome three families already living on the estate.
“The proposals also include new green spaces and community facilities, including a community centre, a nursery and office and retail space.”
Mr Davies has contacted Chipping Barnet MP Theresa Villiers and he and other neighbours plan to meet her to discuss the issue in coming weeks.
No official deadline has been set for the Dollis Valley regeneration plans to be submitted, but it is thought developers will be looking to enter them early next year.
He added: “We’re not unhappy about the development at all – we welcome it but we have never considered ourselves to be part of the estate. The council has just steamrolled in.
“All of the neighbours have the same attitude – we’re all together and ready to fight it.”