County Tower Properties

Tower Service Station, Barnet

Through collaborative working underpinned by a thorough understanding of the intricacies of local policy, Planning Potential secured consent for a contemporary mixed-use scheme in Barnet after presenting a compelling and cogent case to planning committee.

Respecting the past, building a future

Since the 1930s, the site, which is situated in a prominent location on the junction of Finchley Road and Hendon Way, operated as a petrol station until its closing in 2014. The proposal for a high-quality design-led scheme, incorporating 28 residential units, will assist in meeting the demand for housing in the area, whilst benefiting local businesses and the community through the provision of flexible space, helping to ensure that this important local site will be returned to productive use.

This scheme will create a landmark building at a key gateway into London, reflected in the 35,000 people who pass by every day. Its contemporary design meant our approach had to be proactive, flexible and pragmatic.

Building our case 

Planning Potential worked closely with the project team to provide a building that not only ticked all the policy boxes, but also provided high-quality architecture that took its cues from the site’s history and recognised the local context. Focusing on a combination of political insight, clear strategic communications and practical, results-driven delivery, we shored up local support and built trusting relationships with authorities, site neighbours and community groups – a significant accomplishment given the modern proposal.

Turning back the clock

The design of the building has been inspired by the scale and character of the neighbouring Vernon Court, which has a Tudor Bethan style.

Building confidence was paramount and we implemented a community relations plan that informed all interested parties about the scheme and, through resident feedback, helped to shape it. A series of workshops and public consultation events were held, allowing residents and interested stakeholders to comment on the proposals.

The changes that were made to the planning application reflected the feedback, including the decision to include in the design an iconic and decorative clock that reflected the 1950s’ clock tower that was previously on the site.  

New lease of life

Existing residents will be able to enjoy an outlook onto a communal area and green wall, and new residents will have modern flats that feature high living standards.

The proposal also includes enhanced landscaping along the Hendon Way and a flexible ground floor space, a perfect home for local enterprises and community events. 

This latest success is testament to the experience, expertise and commitment of the Planning Potential team.

Summary of achievements

  • Made a series of recommendations to the client, showcasing the site’s potential as a mixed-use scheme
  • Project managed the application process, liaising with Council officers, key stakeholders and the local community
  • Preparation of a comprehensive planning statement which justified why the development should be allowed
  • Supported an extensive and expansive public consultation programme
  • Adopted collaborative and open approach with Council officers, local residents and council members
  • Delivered a compelling speech at Planning Committee, which resonated with decision makers and helped to achieve a positive outcome