Hammerson announced the expansion of Brent Cross shopping centre was on hold. It’s not obvious what this means for us, especially now that Brent Cross Cricklewood‘s been divided into three parts.
Brent Cross London
Brent Cross London is Hammerson’s part.
- Expand the shopping centre
- Move and expand the bus station
- Build a new bridge across the North Circular
- Change the ends of the existing bridge across the North Circular (Templehof Bridge)
- Remodel the roundabout at Staples Corner with fast slip roads around it
- Straighten out the Cricklewood Broadway / Cricklewood Lane / Chichele Road junction
- Straighten out the Cricklewood Lane / Claremont Road / Lichfield Road junction
- Change the junctions with the Hendon Way
- Other changes to the roads and junctions
- Re-route the River Brent and add a riverside path.
All this is now on hold. Barnet’s position is that it must be started before October 2019, because otherwise planning permission will expire. They still believe Hammerson sees the expansion of Brent Cross as a necessity. Hammerson talked about completion in 2023 rather than 2022 but the chief executive said “it would be wrong for me to give any firm guide.”
Brent Cross South
Brent Cross South is Argent Related’s part, south of the North Circular and east of the railway line.
- Housing, in large apartment blocks
- Shops, restaurants and other facilities
We’re told it’s going ahead. The first block has planning permission, Argent are finalising designs for two more and will soon put in planning applications for them. Some demolition and construction is scheduled for 2019. By 2022 there should be a thousand new homes and a few hundred thousand square feet of office space, plus shops, places to eat and other facilities.
Construction vehicles will normally go along Tilling Road. The first block is going to be for people moved out of Whitefield Estate, so at first there won’t be a big increase in population. On the other hand, we all know how easily the junctions clog up. Might Hammerson try to put off paying for work on the junctions and what would that do to the Brent Cross South development?
Brent Cross Thameslink
Brent Cross Thameslink is Barnet Council’s part, mainly the stretch between the Edgware Road and the railway line.
- DB Cargo’s aggregate/spoil superhub, also known as the Rail Freight Facility, behind Lidl at 400 Edgware Road. This cleared the planning committee in February and permission’s now been granted. It might be in operation in 2019.
- New sidings and rail buildings near the south end of Brent Terrace, for completion by 2020. Network Rail are already working on the site.
- The Waste Transfer Station on Edgware Road, on the Serco site. Barnet are now consulting about their redesign of this. It might be built in 2019.
- The new Thameslink station “Brent Cross West”, behind Argos, Curry’s and the old cinema, including a public pedestrian bridge across the railway, scheduled to open in 2022.
- A road bridge across the railway, south-east of Geron Way, which last year was supposed “to open in 2021 rather than 2027” and this year “by 2030”.
We expect the superhub to go ahead. It never depended on Brent Cross Cricklewood for funding or to be profitable; only a tiny proportion of the 450 HGV movements a day will be to Brent Cross Cricklewood.
There’s an argument that the Waste Transfer Station will only be needed if the Thameslink station’s built, and maybe not even then. Barnet and North London Waste Authority still seem determined to have it. It will put 350 more HGV (Heavy Goods Vehicle) movements on the A5 every day, it requires new traffic lights on the Edgware Road, the old plans to make it more environmentally friendly with a “brown roof” have been scaled back and there are other changes, it’s attracted 447 online objections and will mainly affect Brent residents who of course have no say in appointing Barnet’s decision-makers, but we’ve seen how relaxed Barnet’s planning committee is about such considerations already.
If Hammerson didn’t go ahead with the expansion of Brent Cross, a big part of the justification for the station would go. It will be very expensive; the government will pay for part of it and the increase in business rates from Brent Cross is supposed to match another part. Barnet insist that it’s going ahead and will not be put on hold.
The outline planning permission area includes Donoghues on Claremont Road and Cricklewood Green on Cricklewood Lane. According to the planning statement for the Waste Transfer Station, “The PB Donoghue site is identified for redevelopment in Phase 4 of the BXC regeneration and is currently not anticipated to be redeveloped until after 2028.” Last year the Green was registered as an Asset of Community Value and before that councillors swore that it would not be developed as long as they were councillors, but a senior council officer tells us he still wants to develop it.
The B&Q buildings and car park are not part of Brent Cross Cricklewood, nor is 1-13 Cricklewood Lane (where the Co-op, Lucky 7 and other shops are), nor is the Galtymore site on the corner of Depot Approach and Cricklewood Broadway, opposite Beacon Bingo.