Plans to extend an office block have been given the go-ahead despite concerns over the impact on neighbours living in a conservation area.
Arlen Properties has won permission to build two extra floors on top of existing office buildings at Breasy Place in Burroughs Gardens, Hendon.
The site of the office block is on the fringe of The Burroughs Conservation Area and next to the locally-listed St Joseph’s School. It is also close to several other listed buildings near the junction of The Burroughs and Watford Way.
Planning officers wrote in a report that the scheme would “result in an improved form of development in view of the public realm on The Burroughs”. The council received eight objections to the scheme, with the impact on neighbours’ privacy and light levels among the main concerns raised.
During a meeting of a Barnet Council planning committee on Thursday, residents living in a row of terraced houses opposite the offices and within the conservation area objected to the plans. David Pixner said: “The additional two storeys will increase the number of windows that overlook our cottages from 14 to a total of 30, which is a considerable increase and will affect our privacy.”
Gabbie Asher, another resident of the terrace in Burroughs Gardens, said making the office block two storeys higher would lead to residents being “hemmed into our alley”, “severely impact our light” and lead to homes being “significantly more overlooked”.
She added that the alley is already affected by noise and litter and pointed out that it is residents’ responsibility to keep it clean, rather than the council’s. Gabbie also said the scheme would cause parking and congestion problems, despite officers’ claims that there would be no overspill parking because the surrounding area is covered by a controlled parking zone.
Joe Henry, an agent acting on behalf of the developer, said the planned extension was identical to proposals that had been granted permission in 2019, with the only difference being a change in “context” due to the construction of a two-storey office building to the rear of the site.
He said the proposed extension would not result in “any significant overlooking” because it would be 30 metres from existing windows, which “significantly exceeds” the minimum overlooking standard of 21 metres. He also said it would not lead to loss of outlook or light.
Following a brief discussion, the committee voted unanimously to approve the application.