Since this is my first post for the Hendon Times may I offer a warm welcome and my humble appreciation for your interest.

By way of personal background may I refer you to the first Related Link; a very short CV (scroll down to “Gordon Kerr”) appears on the website of this economics thinktank dedicated to fixing the banking crisis. Barnet Council have issued a new draft LDF. This document is an overarching map of proposed land use which will govern planning applications for the next few years. Compliance with the LDF will carry legal and political weight and will make it difficult to object to proposals that are unpopular if they are compliant.

The new LDF makes scant reference to the obvious need for a Barnet Sports Centre. Such a centre would be warmly welcomed by the Save New Barnet campaign at the ‘ASDA’ site in New Barnet. A sports facility there would transform the lives of our young and adult population alike.

If you are concerned about developing and enhancing sports facilities in Barnet then please comment on the LDF by January 11th. Recreation and sports facilities are summarised in just three short paragraphs out of a document over 100 pages long. Sadly, most people would recognise that the current provision of sports facilities is simply not adequate for a borough of over 330,000 residents. Please comment by emailing the following address:

Make sure to include your name and address, and state that you are commenting on the LDF. Then ask that the word “adequate” should be added to Policy CS9 first line. It should then read: “The Council will work with our partners to ensure that adequate community facilities including schools, libraries, sports centres and pools, community meeting places and facilities for younger and older people, are provided for Barnet’s communities.” and ask Barnet Council to include some specific targets for developing new sports and recreation facilities so that the Council and its partners can be held accountable.

Although this wording has been produced by the excellent “Save New Barnet” campaign, whose primary concern is the uncontrolled spawning of supermarkets, the reason why I ask you to object to the LDF runs far deeper than merely the question of whether or not you want more retail outlets. As a postscript may I also refer you to the Save New Barnet campaign at the second Related Link. Your support would help resist the entirely unnecessary development of more supermarkets in New Barnet. Please embrace this campaign – the character of our semi-village, semi-urban lifestyle evident throughout the multifarious regional Barnet habitats is surely worth defending. Predictions are difficult, but if this LDF is approved without significant amendment, then these new supermarkets in New Barnet may pressurise the viability of The Spires in High Barnet. I understand that Waitrose, the anchor tenant in that pedestrianised mall, would be sufficiently impacted by a new superstore in New Barnet that it might precipitate its closure and The Spires itself may suffer.

What is almost tragically ironic about the New Barnet supermarket angle to our campaign to save Claremont Road and promote sports and recreation boroughwide is that our Council’s position has been consistent with that of the Save New Barnet campaign. The Council itself has refused plans submitted by Asda. Why on earth does this draft LDF facilitate a development that the Council itself deems objectionable? The answer, as one of my most sage and wise advisors has explained to me, lies in the law of unintended consequences.