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Petitioning Boris Johnson MP and 1 other

HELP US TO STOP THE DEMOLITION BY TfL OF THEIR NORTHWOOD ESTATE IN THE CONSERVATION AREA

PLEASE SUPPORT NORTHWOOD’S VOICE against the destruction of these fine buildings.
(Thousand of people have already Signed The Paper Petition In The Shops of Northwood)
A group of concerned residents who have lived in Northwood, Middlesex for many years have formed an alliance with the businesses threatened by Tfl’s development plans We have brought Northwood’s Voice into being because of our deep concern over the proposed major redevelopment proposed by Tfl of their estate in Northwood RESULTING IN THE complete demolition of this part of the Conservation Area and the total loss of over twenty buildings on Green Lane and Station Approach. The livelihoods of the shop owners are threatened. Even if offered a new unit they will be out of business for several years. Twenty Shops are to be demolished and twelve residents will also lose their flats above the shops.
We believe that the proposed Conservation Area development will be a travesty if it is permitted. The skyline will become more crowded with high blocks replacing the two-storey buildings, with more traffic and less parking.
A car coach repair works employing 20 skilled people will be wiped out. Tfl have confirmed there is no proposal to find or relocate this company. A dentist serving the community will have to find new premises.
The local economy will suffer badly due to the loss of the businesses and the footfall it attracts

THE BUILDINGS OF Tfl IN THE CONSERVATION AREA
These threatened buildings, constructed in 1925, retain their original architectural character and detailing including corbelling, timber facias, stall risers etc. The corner former bank building (now Coral’s) is of detailed high quality brick and remains unchanged.
These buildings present a historic view and vista that has remained unchanged, from when it was built in 1925 by local builder Harry Neale

The topography of the area adds greatly to its character. The current buildings follow the lay of the land and leave open views of trees and the general greenery of this area. The Tfl scheme proposes to flatten the land with the new 4-storey blocks constructed on a platform 3metres high. These tall buildings will obscure the view of the mature trees beyond, so typical of Northwood’s urban character

Hillingdon Council’s directive is to preserve and enhance the conservation area. This site also adjoins ‘Old Northwood Area of Special Local Character’. Demolition of historic buildings of character should be the last option while proposing developments in an area of this significance.

The following is from Mr Jaideep Chakrabarti who is a practising architect specialising in historic architecture and has been involved with many iconic buildings including St. Paul’s Cathedral in London, Temple Bar in Paternoster Square and fire restoration project in Windsor Castle. He has lived in Venice on a State Scholarship and read Buildings Conservation at King’s Manor, York. He is on the RIBA Register of Specialist Conservation Architect.

He comments on the buildings in the Green Lane Conservation Area

“The proposed development involves demolition of up to 20 properties, which are part of the Northwood Conservation Area (designation year 2009). As such these buildings collectively contribute towards the character of the high street and station approach.
By definition, “A conservation area is an area of special architectural or historic interest, the character or appearance of which is desirable to preserve or enhance.” The appraisal paper by the Hillingdon Borough Council – Northwood town centre, Green Lane conservation area, November 2009 highlights the reason for the designation and I quote,
“Today, Green Lane is an important commercial centre and transport interchange. Most of the buildings within the conservation area are of a high quality design and include a variety of different architectural styles, such as Arts and Crafts, Neo Classical and 1930s Art Deco, all with very good decorative features. There are a number of traditional shop fronts remaining within the area, some particularly fine bank buildings and a striking three storey former post office with stone detailing and glazed bricks to the street frontage.”

The demolition of these buildings thus undermines the Council’s own reasons and evaluation of our heritage assets. Furthermore, the character of the Northwood town centre is arguably one of the best preserved early C20 developments linked to railway expansions of the period. The loss of the character will not be limited to Northwood but to a period of development and expansion of the city of London itself”.

The scale of the development is excessive both for this small town and for the site itself and of such a high density it would be suitable for more congested parts of London. It will bring up to 500 people onto this small site.

There is no justification for the destruction of the conservation area, the loss of existing businesses, jobs and potential loss to the existing high street by the glut of additional retail that is proposed.

Demolishing the parade of buildings along Green Lane/Station Approach is not acceptable. These are heritage assets, in good repair, an integral part of the Green Lane Conservation Area and represent the development of Northwood over time. Their loss cannot be justified.

Northwood’s Voice is not opposed to development, just the opposite. It has proposed an alternative vision to TfL’s architects that respects rather than destroys the history and architectural precedent of the area by retaining the existing buildings on the site with their renovation and enrichment of Station Approach with a further alternative of homes on the tube car park with development above the tube station (with step free access) of retail and residential. We have no objection to the proposal for the building on the north of Green Lane.
If the renovation of the shops in Northwood Hills and Harefield can be done why cannot it be carried out in Northwood?

You can see all the details at www.northwoodsvoice.org.uk

PLEASE SIGN THIS PETITION to stop this inappropriate re-development of Northwood’s town centre. It is also available to sign in shops in Northwood town centre.
16.9.15.

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