Finchley: More than just the home of Thatcher

Background

Perhaps best known for being the parliamentary constituency of former prime minister Margaret Thatcher, Finchley is part of the north London borough of Barnet. The borough itself was created in 1965, bringing together several urban districts including Finchley and Hendon, both of which were previously located in Middlesex.

Archaeological discoveries have been made along the Roman road Watling Street, although thick forest limited the number of early settlers in Barnet. The fields of the area did go on to play a key role in producing hay for London's horses in the 18th and 19th centuries, before the approach of the suburbs prompted some farms to enter milk production.

These included Finchley's College Farm, established by Express Dairy Company founder Sir George Barham. It became the first working farm to be opened to the public in 1883 and still exists today, having been bought by the College Farm Trust in 2006.

Property

Residents of flats to rent in Finchley can expect to pay around £1,235 per month for two bedrooms, which is less than half the price of typical Central London accommodation. And choosing not to buy could be the best option for those thinking of living in the area, given the recent market performance.

Land Registry figures have indicated more than a ten per cent decline over the last year, something that may have left people who have purchased property in Finchley in negative equity.

Council tax charges, meanwhile, have risen by 2.19 per cent for the 2009-10 financial year, below the English national average of three per cent. With a band D property paying just over £1,420, leader of Barnet Council Mike Freer recently stated that the authority "recognises the difficulties many residents are facing during these uncertain Financial Times and is continuing to do everything it can to ease the burden".

Transport

Finchley is served by a number of London Underground stations on the Northern Line, allowing easy access to the centre of the capital. These include East and West Finchley Tube Stations, as well as Finchley Central. The area will forever by synonymous with the network as it was the home of Harry Beck, designer of the iconic map. The Finchley Society marked this with a plaque at his house in 2003.

Amenities

In addition to College Farm, those choosing property in Finchley can visit a number of nearby attractions. These include Camden Arts Centre, which boasts a range of exhibitions and galleries, as well as the Freud Museum - located in Hampstead at the former family home of the psychiatrist.

And those with children may be interested to learn that schools in Barnet recently came in for praise from Ofsted, with the education watchdog paying tribute to the excellence of education provision in the borough over the past 15 years.

The local authority has introduced controlled parking zones across Barnet in order to ensure that residents are not prevented from finding space for their cars near their homes. However, the rules were recently relaxed in the vicinity of schools, allowing parents parking at the beginning and end of the school day to wait for up to ten minutes.

Meanwhile, residents are set to benefit as a result of 400,000 worth of improvements to the Dollis Valley Green Walk. The space was chosen by voters as one of ten parks in London to be upgraded following a competition run by Mayor Boris Johnson, with those living in Barnet to be given a say in how the money is spent. Planned improvements already include the addition of a new play area, as well as enhanced landscaping throughout.

Published 28th April, 2009

© 2009 Estates IT Limited

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Finchley in the North London Borough of Barnet - a property guide including Area Background, Property, Transport and Amenities

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