SOS Brookdene


Land on the east bank of Dollis Brook (rear of 71 Holden Road)

Stop Press: 
A planning application was filed on 31st July and the public have the chance to lodge comments/objections. This is before the many objections to the land being passed over to a developer were considered. You can make your objections online or via email and keep emailing those councillors below.


Planning Ref: 15/04857/FUL

What matters can be taken into account: 

Planning applications can only be decided on those matters relevant to planning (material considerations). The most common of these include: 

1. Effect on traffic, access and parking 

2. Scale, appearance and impact on surrounding area and adjoining neighbours 

3. Loss of light 

4. Overlooking and loss of privacy 

5. Effect on nature conservation and loss of trees 

6. Effect on a Conservation Area 

7. Effect on a Listed Building 

8. Noise and disturbance resulting from a use 

9. Whether the use would be appropriate for the area


Past Updates



Land on the east bank of Dollis Brook (rear of 71 Holden Road)

Stop Press: Come and have your say. Tuesday 4th August 12 midday, meet at the Holden Road entrance to the brook. There will be press and tv coverage Map link

There is an area of unspoilt green land to the rear of 71 Holden Rd that backs onto Dollis Brook. It is 0.7 of an acre and is situated on the east bank of Dollis Brook opposite the Old Finchleans Sports Ground near the confluence with Folly Brook. It is publicly owned and part of the site is designated Metropolitan Open Land (MOL) and a Site of Interest for Nature Conservation (SINC). Council officers are now proposing to grant a 150 year lease on the land to a developer.

We are referring to this land as The Brookdene Nature Reserve. This is because we believe that this unspoilt and beautiful space is at present a haven for all sorts of wildlife and it should become a designated nature reserve. Access to the green space can be gained by crossing this part of the brook from west to east – it is normally very shallow here with shingle banks, and stepping stones are in place.

Read more about the history of the land put before Barnet Council last December just below this article.

So what can you do? Firstly visit the site and tell your neighbours or meet us there next Tuesday 12.00 midday when there will be TV and press in attendance and hopefully council representatives too. Secondly write to all the councillors on the Assets, Growth & Regeneration Committee. Brookdene is on the agenda for 7th September 2015 and public objections should be considered. Lodging objections is now the only way we can save this public open land. It will still have to pass through various stages of council procedure but the further it goes along the harder it will be to stop.

Write your objection before 15th August so that it can be considered on 7th September. We must try to save this beautiful land and keep it in public control.


Cllr. Daniel Thomas (Chairman)
Cllr. Gabriel Rozenberg (Vice-Chairman)
Cllr. Richard Cornelius
Cllr. Pauline Coakley Webb
Cllr. Philip Cohen
Cllr. Geof Cooke
Cllr. Rohit Grover
Cllr. Nagus Narenthira
Cllr. Shimon Ryde

Cllr. Tom Davey
Cllr. Val Duschinsky
Cllr. Paul Edwards
Cllr. Alison Moore
Cllr. Caroline Stock
Cllr. Ross Houston

Faith Mwende

Councillors can also be written to at:
Members Room, Hendon Town Hall, London NW4 4AX

Write your objection before 15th August so that it will be considered on 7th September. We must try to save this beautiful land and keep it in public control.


22nd July 2015

Brookdene Nature Reserve

We have heard back from the London Borough of Barnet who say representations in respect of the woodland area, to the rear of Brookdene 71 Holden Road London N12 7DR will now be considered by the London Borough of Barnet, at its next Assets and Regeneration Committee (ARG) meeting on the 7th of September 2015

On 14th December 2014 a 5 page report was put before the Assets, Growth and Regeneration Committee of Barnet Council. It was lacking in details or photos and was also misleading. In the first sentence it describes the land as ‘currently land locked and not accessible to the public’. This is not true as there are well trodden paths criss-crossing the land and it is well used by local people. On page 1 it stated as a recommendation in bold lettering: ‘That the land is declared surplus to the council’s requirements.’ It added: ‘The woodland is in a neglected state’ and ‘the most economical solution is to dispose of the site by way of a long lease’. The 8 members of the committee present followed the officer’s recommendation and voted unanimously to dispose of the land.

71 Holden Road is directly opposite St Barnabas Church and comprises of 8 purpose built maisonettes dating from the 1960s. The developer wishes to build no less than 43 new housing units on the entire site (including existing front and back gardens) and use the public open land ‘to provide garden/amenity land for the frontage development’. The woodland would then become a sort of communal woodland garden for the new residents.

Under section 123 (2a) 0f the Local Government Act 1972 Barnet Council is required to consider any objections to the proposed disposal that may be made to them.’ This is why the last page of the AG&R report says the all important words: ’If objections are raised and the public outcry is great then it could jeopardize this sale’. If there are a large number of objections Barnet Council must take heed or risk breaking the law.

In the meantime do continue to write to your local councillors in particular the following who are on the Assets and Regeneration Committee (ARG):

Assets, Regeneration and Growth Committee

Councillor Daniel Thomas BA (Hons) (Chairman)
Councillor Gabriel Rozenberg (Vice-Chairman)

Councillor Richard Cornelius

Councillor Pauline Coakley Webb

Councillor Philip Cohen

Councillor Geof Cooke

Councillor Rohit Grover

Councillor Nagus Narenthira

Councillor Shimon Ryde BSc (Hons)

Councillor Tom Davey (Substitute)

Councillor Val Duschinsky (Substitute)

Councillor Paul Edwards (Substitute)

Councillor Alison Moore (Substitute)

Councillor Caroline Stock (Substitute)
Bus. email:

Councillor Ross Houston (Substitute)

The main points being that this is public protected land and should remain so. And that details of this public land, that is part of Dollis Brook, were misrepresented at the Assets Growth and Regeneration Committee back in Dec 2014. In the report it says, that the site was inaccessible and not used by the public whereas the site is accessible and very much used by the public as evidenced by the well-used paths.

Also in this age of too many motor cars and subsequent pollution, even if a bit of land is land-locked, though clearly not the case with Brookdene, it is important in the London Borough of Barnet to have pockets of unspoilt land where the air is purer and flora and fauna can grow uninterrupted.

If you can attend the meeting 7th September, do let us know:


14th July 2015

Brookdene Nature Reserve

Friends, Just to update you on the situation at Brookdene. Please see below to bring you up to date if you are not aware of the situation.

We have still not had a reply to our letters from Chris Smith, the council officer who was the advertised contact for this proposal. The matter was scheduled to come before the Assets, Growth and Regeneration Committee in July, Mike Gee was scheduled to address the committee but was it was dropped from the agenda and re-scheduled for September 2nd. Mike applied to address the committee again in the accepted manner, was again granted permission to speak and then informed that the matter would again be dropped from the agenda and would not dealt with until 'later in the year'.

Mike then found out that the matter was to be discussed by the Chipping Barnet Area Committee on Thursday 2nd July. Again he applied for permission to speak, again he was granted permission to speak and again later informed that the matter had been dropped from the agenda. He got the distinct feeling that someone did not want to hear what he had to say.Of course, if one was being charitable, one could say they were hoping to slip it through committee un-noticed, under the radar so to speak and when they realized that it had already been noticed and there were objections they also realized that they should take more time to prepare their case, hence the postponements. In the meantime, we are gagged, silenced and our letters remain unanswered. We feel this is not the way local government should work, the matter of disposing of publicly owned green land to a property developer should be properly discussed and debated from the word go,all the pros and cons weighed up, all opinions sought and then, ONLY THEN, should a decision be taken. We get the distinct feeling that a decision has already been taken and they are just going through the motions.

Whilst all this was going on the developer was, quite understandably, not idle. Firstly a propaganda campaign seems to have been started with the developer (and his undercover agents) spreading rumours and saying and writing things like 'there is no public access', 'there has been no proper maintenance', 'there are dangerous trees that fall into people's gardens', 'the place is strewn with rubbish', 'there are hypodermic needles lying about', fires have been lit', 'the place is frequented by criminals', etc. They made allegations about an old mattress and when we went there we found not an old one but a new one that had been placed there by 'someone'. Barnet Street Based Services will be removing it "hopefully within the next 48 hours". There are suggestions that  we are 'misleading people' and should make a 'public apology'. Let us set the record straight on the following matters:

1) The site is publicly accessible, many people visit Brookdene on a regular basis. The evidence is there - the site is criss-crossed with well trodden paths. A few weeks ago a party of 54 people on a walk visited the site and among these people were old, disabled and even one woman who was blind! They simply forded Dollis Brook at a well used crossing point via shingle banks and stepping stones. To say the place is'landlocked and inaccessible' - now that's misleading.

2) All the photos on the attachment were taken by Mike, with a pocket camera in March and April this year. They have not been doctored or altered in any way.This is the way the place truly looks. We think it looks wonderful in its unspoilt splendour.

3) If we are quoting from council documents, we make very sure to quote verbatim and put it in italics. Anything we put in italics is a direct and accurate quote.

The developer prepared an exhibition of his proposals that were unveiled last Thursday at Finchley Catholic High School. However plausible it all sounds and however pretty all the artists impressions may look, the reality will probably be very different and of course the main thing to remember is that the developer intends this land to be a private garden for the residents - it will be fenced in and not accessible to the public.

If you have the time, please visit Brookdene Nature Reserve for yourself, and make your own mind up. When you get there just stand still for a few minutes and listen, we think you'll be amazed at the sound of all the birdsong.

We will keep you updated.


30th April 2015

Brookdene Nature Reserve


Another beautiful green space under threat - Please see attachment below. If anyone needs addresses for councillors please see link here.

Is there anyone out there ready to help with conservation work? On Brookdene or other places. Please get in touch - please email:

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