Shop Frontage Success

Shoku restaurantMembers will be aware that much of the High Street is in a conservation area but inappropriate alterations to shop frontages have destroyed many historic features. These alterations have often been made without seeking the necessary planning approval. One such alteration made three years ago, which we have regularly featured in our newsletter, was at 192 High Street, now the Japanese restaurant 'Shoku', where the historic frontage was ripped out and replaced with a large modern facia incorporating a set of bi-fold glazed doors featuring faux glazing bars.

The Barnet Residents Association has doggedly pursued the issue with the council and, following the rejection of a retrospective planning application, the appeal by the owner to the Planning Inspectorate in Bristol has also been rejected. The Inspector's decision said "the overall shop front is at odds with the scale of the property and results in an incongruous and cumbersome frontage that has an unacceptable effect on the property and the street scene, and also fails to preserve the character of the Monken Hadley Conservation Area." The council has issued an enforcement notice requiring the original frontage to be reinstated. We are very pleased that our persistence has been rewarded.

This decision follows other recent decisions by the Planning Inspectorate refusing to allow the demolition of the former Magistrates Court and requiring the inappropriate frontage to No 1 Church Passage be removed (dubbed locally as the 'Swiss Chalet'), both issues on which we campaigned very hard, with many members sending in objections. We have tried very hard over many years to stop alterations which flout planning laws and it has been an uphill struggle. We hope that these recent successes will send a strong message to shop owners that the law has to be respected.

27 March 2014