'Saturation point': Childs Hill residents condemn plans for Palm Hotel 

The Best Western Palm Hotel in Childs Hill

The Best Western Palm Hotel in Childs Hill - Credit: Google

New plans to turn the Best Western-owned Palm Hotel in Childs Hill into a 110-bed shared accommodation have been met with anger from local residents. 

A planning application was submitted by Rooms and Studios Ltd (RSM) on 2 December 2021, after a previous application was rejected by Barnet Council in March 2020.

In a planning statement submitted by agent Rapleys on behalf of RSM, the developer said the new plans would “meet the identified need for HMO (house in multiple occupation) accommodation in Barnet” whilst addressing “previous concerns regarding privacy of tenants, light levels... outlook and accessibility.”

One local resident said they appreciate the “need for such accommodation”, but said the local area had reached “saturation point”.

They added: “[We already have] developments on the Granville Estate, Hermitage Lane, Brent Cross and the monstrosity on the B&Q site in Cricklewood…please Barnet Council, stand your ground and once again save us from this nightmare.”

The development, which currently consists of a number of semi-detached properties in Hendon Way, would see them merged into one dwelling to provide temporary accommodation. 

One resident raised concerns about the likelihood of “transient tenants” who “would have little community buy-in and care of the locality” meaning “long- standing community cohesion will suffer”.

This was echoed by another resident, adding: “This HMO would house a temporary population who care nothing for the neighbourhood or the building. There won't be any young professionals or young families living here, only single people with social problems, no jobs, nothing to do all day and night.”

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The applicant has been contacted for comment, but in January 2021 in response to their previous application, they told this paper: "Overall, the proposal provides appropriate development, which will provide short-term accommodation in the area and will provide a number of benefits to the local area including the best use of the site by infilling a number of existing large event rooms, which will bring an end to the organisation of large events at the site that have caused a number of issues to local residents."

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