New buyer for The Spires shopping centre in High Barnet comes forward

Times Series: The latest developments on the sale mean further uncertainty for stall holders, who are looking to secure the redevelopment of the run down site The latest developments on the sale mean further uncertainty for stall holders, who are looking to secure the redevelopment of the run down site

A new buyer has been lined up for The Spires shopping centre, days after a deal with a major property firm collapsed.

Owner UBS Triton had announced earlier this month it was finalising an agreement to sell the High Barnet shopping centre to Redefine International.

But the deal, which includes the dilapidated car park site of Barnet Market, unexpectedly collapsed last week.

Strutt and Parker, organising the sale on behalf of the owners, confirmed this morning that the site was now under offer to a new buyer who came forward in the past few days.

Chris White, organising the sale, said it was too soon to reveal the identity of the buyer but confirmed that negotiations are in the early stages.

UBS announced last year it was planning a major renovation of the market, in St Albans Road, but planning applications were only submitted to the local authority in January.

The latest developments on the sale mean further uncertainty for stall holders, who are looking to secure the redevelopment of the run down site.

UBS says it is willing to go ahead with the developments despite the impending sale but supporters remain unsure.

Friends of Barnet Market chairman Chris Nightingale said: “This latest development is another hiccup in a long line of delays that stretch back as far as the previous owners - we can’t start positive negotiations on the redevelopment until a new buyer is identified.

“We now have to wait until the planning applications are approved and at that point we will see if UBS is up to its word in continuing with the redevelopment plans.

“The most positive thing is if the sale is completed quickly and the new owners go through with the plans themselves.”

Chipping Barnet MP Theresa Villiers said last week the uncertainty over the sale was causing “real concern” for the market, which can be traced back 600 years.

Mr Nightingale added: “We are playing a waiting game now to see if this development goes ahead but at the same time we are still working to promote the market.

“We have had a lot of interest from potential stall holders and I’ve been amazed at the level of support we have received.”

Comments (1)

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12:24am Fri 1 Mar 13

Cadwallader says...

That's 900 years. I think the market is Britain's oldest business.

The market has been subject to shocking neglect this century - for no better reason than the owner's wishing to sell the land on which it takes place. The old market shed (which turns out to have been much better looking in retrospect) was pulled down to make way for a redevelopment no one believed would happen. The surface was taken up and the handsome brick perimeter walls demolished as well.

Once those traders who weren't driven off by relocation to the car park (the current site is not, has never been and is unlikely ever to be a car park, contrary to the information in the article) were allowed back on to the now highly unsuitable wasteland left by the failed 'development', things went from bad to worse.

The Spires and Barnet Council have demonstrated typical lack of vision, imagination and responsibility where the institution from which Chipping Barnet takes its name is concerned. A well appointed and thriving market would attract shoppers to the depressed High Street and Spires Shopping Centre for two precious days per week, and (were it better appointed) the site could be opened to antiques traders and car-boot sales on other days to draw more business into the district.

The success of St Albans and Enfield shopping centres and markets is a clear demonstration of this. The market could and should be expanded to fill spaces outside its existing area, along the back of the Spires in Stapylton Road if demand arises.

Meantime the existing site should be resurfaced to make it safe for the elderly and disabled. Provision of more durable shelter for the traders should also be considered. And most of all - protection for the market on its existing site should be set in stone, before we lose our 900 year old market and history judges us for the loss.
That's 900 years. I think the market is Britain's oldest business. The market has been subject to shocking neglect this century - for no better reason than the owner's wishing to sell the land on which it takes place. The old market shed (which turns out to have been much better looking in retrospect) was pulled down to make way for a redevelopment no one believed would happen. The surface was taken up and the handsome brick perimeter walls demolished as well. Once those traders who weren't driven off by relocation to the car park (the current site is not, has never been and is unlikely ever to be a car park, contrary to the information in the article) were allowed back on to the now highly unsuitable wasteland left by the failed 'development', things went from bad to worse. The Spires and Barnet Council have demonstrated typical lack of vision, imagination and responsibility where the institution from which Chipping Barnet takes its name is concerned. A well appointed and thriving market would attract shoppers to the depressed High Street and Spires Shopping Centre for two precious days per week, and (were it better appointed) the site could be opened to antiques traders and car-boot sales on other days to draw more business into the district. The success of St Albans and Enfield shopping centres and markets is a clear demonstration of this. The market could and should be expanded to fill spaces outside its existing area, along the back of the Spires in Stapylton Road if demand arises. Meantime the existing site should be resurfaced to make it safe for the elderly and disabled. Provision of more durable shelter for the traders should also be considered. And most of all - protection for the market on its existing site should be set in stone, before we lose our 900 year old market and history judges us for the loss. Cadwallader

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