Labour councillors are set to oppose the sale of public open space known as ‘Brookdene Nature Reserve’ in N12 at the next Assets, Regeneration & Growth Committee (ARG) on 7 September.
The western part of the Council-owned woodland plot adjacent to Dollis Brook is both Metropolitan Open Land (MOL) and a Site of Local Importance for Nature Conservation (SLINC). A report to the Council's Assets, Regeneration and Growth committee in December 2014 that first proposed the sale did not mention either the MOL or SLINC status of the western part of the site. It also did not acknowledge that there was well-established informal public access to the site.
Labour’s ARG Spokesperson, Cllr Pauline Coakley Webb said:
“Labour councillors are opposed to disposal of the western part of the site and will vote accordingly at the committee meeting on 7 September.
“Metropolitan Open Land should be open to the public, not enclosed in a private garden.
“We are willing to support granting a lease on some land on the eastern part of the site, adjacent to Brookdene, on condition that all the MOL land (and preferably more) is retained by the Council and that the capital receipt is used to improve the local area including providing access to the retained western part by means of a new footbridge over Dollis Brook from the grassed open space off Southover.
“This would give residents, including those with limited mobility, safe access to the area alongside the brook.
“We also call for the Council to investigate the possibility of completing the Dollis Valley Greenwalk through the retained land involving the use of a small part of the Old Finchleians sports ground not used for sport.
“This would include construction of additional footbridges funded by the balance of the capital receipt and any available grant aid, and would contribute to several of the Council's policy aims such as encouraging exercise, promoting access for the disabled and enhancing the environment - at present walkers are diverted 600 metres on residential roads.”
1. For details of the proposal to dispose of 'Brookdene Nature Reserve' - Public Open Space Rear of 71 Holden Road N12 see:
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To contact the Barnet Labour Group: 020 8359 2568