The main aims of the Friends:
- develop a community to protect and look after Victoria Park
- work with the Council on maintenance activities and future improvements in Victoria Park.
- support other stakeholders like the Finchley Farmers Market and the Finchley Victoria Bowling and Croquet Club
To do this we must get more residents on board to have a stronger voice with the Council and to focus on how the Park is developed.
Council’s spend on parks and open spaces in Barnet
The planned spend on parks and open spaces is set to fall year by year in the foreseeable future. Council is going to be hard pressed to keep up the level of maintenance to all parks, and secondly, to save all parks and open spaces from being disposed of by sale.
The task of the Friends of Victoria Park Finchley is to make sure Barnet Council:
- does not cut our park’s maintenance excessively
- continues to look after our Park properly
- plans and then spends the proceeds of the sale of the Lodge properly
- does not squander that fund and continues to listen to us, the users of the Park.
This is our challenge and our task and we continue to plan and to organise to achieve this.
Sale of The Lodge
The Friends believe that it was an absolute tragedy for the Park that Barnet Council and the Trustees of the Park (Barnet’s Councillors) decided to dispose of the park-keepers house that is called The Lodge.
Much of Barnet Council property and school playing fields has disappeared from public use in this way in recent years as the Council liquidates Barnet assets to generate cash for civic improvements.
It is a result of the Country and the Borough of electing representatives that believe in ‘small government’ and reduction in the amount of assets and property held in trust for the Nation.
The Lodge is now out of Council ownership and the only way we could take back control is by getting a High Court decision to reverse the sale, getting the Council to re-purchase the site or getting some third party benefactor to purchase and donate it back. We see no realistic hope of any of these happening in the near future and have no wish to start a campaign of this nature.
What was our view about The Lodge planning application?
The Friends of Victoria Park Finchley Steering Committee was split in their views about the Lodge planning application and therefore did not take an ‘official’ stand on the matter.
There has been an appeal against Council’s decision to refuse the planning application. Now that we have formalised the group, we are going to prepare a comment before the deadline of 28 June 2018.
If you would like to make a comment (called a ‘representation’) then the appeal reference number is APP/N5090/W/18/3197652.
Go to https://acp.planninginspectorate.gov.uk and follow the instructions to make a comment by the deadline of 28 June, 2018.