Chipping Barnet Community Plan: introduction and guide

I have been hearing from a number of people about the size and apparent complexity of the website.
This brief introduction is intended to help you get started.

Firstly, do not think of as a book to be read from cover to cover. Instead, think of it as a replacement for a public event, displayed in a gallery. You should aim to browse and only dip deeper into the areas that interest you.

When you start the website, you will find the introduction. Scroll down past this until you come to the first main heading:

The quotes in boxes, immediately beneath this, allows you to remind yourself of the findings from the interviews and focus groups that took place in December 2019 and in into 2020. It’s probably only worth digging deeper here if you need to refresh your memory.

The second of the three main sections comes into view if you carry on scrolling down the screen:

This is the section where the consultants present their view of the town centre. They have divided it into four sections: Station Approach, Historic Centre, High Street & The Spires and Hadley Green Gateway. Each has its title and a photo as the sub-heading.
Clicking on any of these presents you with a new page giving more details of that section. In each of the four cases the layout is the same: a written introduction, some key phrases and pictures, ‘Potential Opportunities’ and then a chance for you as the reader to comment under this section.

I confess that I am a picture-person and tend to skip over large chunks of text. So I am going to concentrate on the ‘Potential Opportunities’ of just one of the four sections. The same things are true for the other three and i think this may be the place where you can really start picking out the details that you find interesting.

If you scroll down the page having clicked on any item under the Character Area heading, you will arrive at a map:

It is worth stopping here for a minute (on the actual website) to explore. In the picture above you can see that this map is of the lower High Street with the path up from the station visible in the bottom left, leading up to QE Girls school building and grounds. You may be able to recognise other buildings further up the hill. Dotted around are a number of purple pins, each of which are active – that is, if you click on them, you will see a brief explanation of the opportunity identified by the consultants. The explanation appears in the purple margin on the right of the picture. Here, for example , is what you will see if you click on the pin just above the label for QE Girls School:

The right-hand margin now contains a summary of this Opportunity. Clicking in the underlined title in the margin (in this case “Activating the Public Realm”) takes you through to a more detailed description:

There is more here, than will fit in this snapshot, both in the main display and also in the purple margin, which now contains a breakdown of the possible responsible parties and also some idea of costs.

In all of these displays there is an opportunity for you to make a comment about the screen you are currently viewing. Once you have read all you want, you can retrace your steps by using the back arrow at the top left of every screen, or by clicking on the word “Menu” at the top right. This will take you to a layout of the whole website, so that you can easily pick up a new area rather than always having to go back to the start.

Returning to the main headings, the final one is labelled:

Clicking anywhere in the purple stripe with the five logos in it, will take you to the 30+ project ideas. In the same manner as in previous subsections there are four broad areas, each containing a set of different projects. The four areas are:

  • Supporting High Street businesses & building local pride
  • Movement, enhancing the public realm & greenspaces
  • Supporting cultural & community infrastructure
  • Creating a Thriving Town Centre to live, work and visit

Running the pointer over any square of text below these titles will give you a picture. Clicking on any of the pictures will take you down into a detailed page (and a summary in the right-hand margin) which you have already met if you clicked in any of the purple pins on the maps in the Character Areas section. Clicking on ‘Activating the Public Realm’ under the Movement, enhancing the public realm & greenspaces section, for example, would take you to the same page that you found when clicking on the QE Girls pin earlier on.

The benefit of having more than one way of accessing the individual project ideas is that it allows for the building up of an idea of possible inter-relationships, how simple, comparatively quick, projects might feed into a larger and more ambitious one.

I hope that this brief overview has been of some help – and that you might now feel more able to explore this most interesting and challenging presentation. More importantly I hope that you will feel able to make as many comments as you want, so as to really inform the next stage in the whole process of moving our town forward.

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