Delivering an ambitious estate regeneration programme in Barnet, North London


Key facts

  • Start Year: 2018

  • End Year: Ongoing

  • Delivery timescale: Planning consent March 2020, First phase start on site spring 2021

  • Uses: 2088 new homes (50% affordable), 2,700 sq m commercial space, new community facilities, revitalised local park

  • Development value: £754m GDV, £557m construction costs

Project Objective 


  • Turn around a failed planning application

  • Develop a high quality, financially viable housing scheme and secure client board approval

  • Prepare a successful hybrid planning application



We were called in to accelerate delivery for an ambitious estate regeneration programme in Barnet, North London. A previous planning application for the next phase of regeneration had been refused on direction of the Mayor of London, on the basis of it failing to deliver enough social housing. The scheme also failed to meet the housing association’s investment hurdles. As a result, there was considerable concern from the client’s board, executive team, the local authority partner, funders and local residents about lack of progress and abortive spend.

We facilitated an intensive, collaborative three-month period of option development and testing to identify scheme parameters (scale, housing mix, cost, etc.) to meet client and stakeholder aspirations, planning requirements and the client’s financial investment hurdles. This delivered early certainty that the project had a future without expending significant additional potentially abortive design costs.

We secured client and stakeholder sign-off to these parameters which de-risked the project and gave the client’s executive team confidence to invest in a planning application.

We turned this into a clear client brief for the design team that was used by the client internally as an excellent example of best practice.

We were tenacious in managing the consultant team to produce a planning application fully in line with the agreed brief and instructing amendments to the design where it failed to meet the brief (for example in terms of target cost or tenure mix). The planning application was approved in March 2020.

We completed a full business plan for the scheme and steered the project through the Notting Hill Genesis internal approval process. The result was securing in-principle board approval for £680m of development funding, receiving commendation for turning the project around, and approval to progress to the next stage.


“When we brought Inner Circle in as project managers, Grahame Park was one of our highest risk projects, causing considerable concern at executive and board level. The Inner Circle team have been central to turning that situation around and developing proposals that have the full support of the organisation as well as our local authority partner and the community. Inner Circle worked very closely and collaboratively with us, fully understanding and meeting our requirements while also bringing rigour to the design process through robust documentation, meetings and controls. Their detailed understanding of financial viability has been invaluable in ensuring a deliverable scheme and a positive investment decision. Matthew Nimmo and the team have a genuine interest in the success of the project and a passion for the work. I would highly recommend Inner Circle to other organisations looking for a team who will work collaboratively with you to deliver progress.”


Tracy Lavers, Director of Regeneration, Notting Hill Genesis

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