West Heath Road: Plans for 45 'state-of-the-art' flats raise traffic fears

A view of how 84 West Heath Road will look should plans be approved.

A view of how 84 West Heath Road will look should plans be approved. - Credit: Harrison Varma Projects

A local developer's plan to build 45 homes has drawn criticism from neighbours concerned about the size of the development and the impact on traffic. 

Harrison Varma Projects (HVP) is hoping to pull down the former care home and school at 84 West Heath Road and replace it with a seven-storey apartment building. 

The site has been empty since Heathside School was forced to vacate the premises in 2019. 

Neighbours are concerned about the size of the development, and say that space for more than 50 car parking spaces will encourage more traffic to an already busy area.

84 West Heath Road in 2020. 

84 West Heath Road in 2020. - Credit: Mike Clark

In a planning application yet to be determined by Barnet Council, the firm Wolff Architects writes: "The proposal seeks to harmonise with the surrounding context whilst promoting a high-quality, contemporary design."


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The architects say "state-of-the-art materials", "sustainable technology" and "smart building systems" will enhance the environment, while the architects emphasised that HVP had held numerous public meetings and involved neighbours in the design process.

They write "The developers are dedicated to being a good neighbour and making a positive contribution to the local community."

Developers are planning to install 'green walls' at the proposed new 84 West Heath Road apartment block.

Developers are planning to install 'green walls' at the proposed new 84 West Heath Road apartment block. - Credit: Harrison Varma Projects

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Martyn Woolf, who's lived in West Heath Road for around 30 years, said the building's use as a school caused "the most terrible trouble with traffic noise". He said he was worries the new plans for apartments would make things worse.

Marytyn said: "Now we have this dreadful suggestion of building 45 homes and all these parking spaces - it's unbelievable on this dangerous road."

Martyn said that while he'd attended a meeting with the developer and its consultants, he was shocked to find plans submitted of a greater scale than he had expected.

"It's such a nice old building," he said. "Why can't it be used as a care home or social housing?"

Another neighbour, Beatrix Clark, said: "The scale and nature of this scheme are hugely alarming.  If approved it will cause years of disturbance, congestion and ultimately a monolith that’s vastly out of keeping with the area, overlooking and overshadowing neighbouring properties.  

"It beggars belief that Barnet Council would even consider it.”

It is understood the developer has commissioned transport assessments in a bid to minimise construction traffic. 

HVP is owned by Highgate's Anil Varma. A spokesperson said the company is keen to continue to work constructively with neighbours.

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