There was a good turn-out of visitors to the Finchley Society meeting on the evening of the 28th April. Scattered around the sides of the hall were various objects and old photographs for us to look at (poster of Woodside Park station describing the achievement of the Finchley Society).
Spike Milligan, who was President at the time, suggested to London Transport that Woodside Park station was worthy of a special redecoration scheme; various leaflets promoting the Society and even a continuous screen show of local photographs.
The meeting was opened by the society’s chairman, David Smith, who welcomed everyone and thanked them for coming. He described the Finchley Society as a coming together of people who like living in Finchley. There are changes taking place all the time, and they like to think that they are acting on behalf of the people of this area, by looking with some considerable scrutiny at planning applications to make sure they are acceptable to the community as a whole.
The chairman then introduced Peter Pickering who talked to us about various planning issues with a particular emphasis on North Finchley which was the theme for the evening. He told us that Barnet Council publish all the planning applications every week. There are three clauses to which they pay particular attention:
1. Converting a family house with garden into a purpose built block of flats outside the town area (Holden Road and Courthouse Gardens)
2. What is proposed if it is too dense a redevelopment
3. Threatens retail diversity and the vitality of the town centre
Barnet Council have a planning strategy to improve North Finchley’s town centre, but they appear not to be moving forward. There could be a new super library at the artsdepot which will combine both the Friern Barnet and North Finchley libraries.
Derek Warren then gave a very interesting slide show of old photographs of the Finchley area. Lots of people joined in commenting on the various photographs and telling us what had been built there since, with Derek telling us the date of the various photographs. We had a refreshment break and then continued a little longer with the slide show.
A very enjoyable evening if you have a sense of belonging in the area.