It’s hard to keep track of all the changes of ownership, planning and construction in Cricklewood. Even finding planning applications on the different council websites can be hard, and they’re not always up to date. Here’s a selection of developments we know about; we’ll add more as time goes on – maybe even Brent Cross Cricklewood, eventually.
Montreaux have now made their planning application to build blocks 15, 16, 17, 18, 19 and 25 storeys high on the B&Q site. Click here for our main page about it. For older pieces about the sale and development of the site, click here.
If you’re interested in the history of the site, there’s a bit in the Cricklewood Green section below.
194-196 Cricklewood Broadway (the Galtymore site)
Developer: Tepbrook Properties
Planning application: 17/0233/FUL (alternative reference PP-05713200) made in January 2017, approved at planning committee meeting in June 2017, Section 106 agreement signed and planning permission granted January 2018.
Site: 194 – 196 Cricklewood Broadway London, by the bus-stops near Beacon Bingo, where the Galtymore dance hall was.
Description: “Redevelopment of site to provide a 6 storey building comprising 3,457sqm of Class A1 use (foodstore) at ground floor level and 96no. self-contained flats (Class C3) at first to fifth floor levels including basement car parking, cycle parking, refuse stores and a single storey car parking deck.” The scheme includes adding another level to Beacon Bingo’s car parking, for the use of residents, and basement parking for shoppers in an ASDA supermarket on the ground floor.
Construction: “We intend to submit a planning application for the development by the end of summer 2016, with construction beginning in spring 2017 if approved.” That suggested a lead time of about nine months, which might have meant development would begin in 2018, but as usual the developers still had to have various details approved by Barnet. In August 2018, some weren’t approved and had to be revised and resubmitted; they were approved in February 2019. In May 2019 the developers submitted their construction management plan for approval. After the site was cleared and dug out, construction stopped. This has left hoardings on the pavement along Cricklewood Broadway and a sheer drop behind the hoardings.
Restrictions: the planning committee imposed this restriction, “No construction work resulting from the planning permission shall be carried out on the premises at any time on Sundays, Bank or Public Holidays, before 8.00 am or after 1.00 pm on Saturdays, or before 8.00 am or after 6.00pm pm on other days,” though this phrasing does not appear in the January 2018 permission. Development had to be commenced within three years of January 2018; digging out the site probably satisfies that condition.
History: Although the site’s right beside the Roman road, it doesn’t seem to have been built on until the mid-19th century. In the early 20th century, the Victorian houses and gardens were demolished and replaced by a skating rink and later, a dance hall (with a snooker club attached). The Galtymore opened in 1952 and closed in 2008. It was the most famous of the Irish ballrooms built by John Byrne, who died in 2013. Tepbrook Properties, one of his companies, also developed Cricklewood’s Travelodge Hotel and Beacon Bingo. It still owns the freehold of that land and of the Jewson’s site too, and in the 1990s it owned the freehold of the B&Q building and carpark.
See also: updates on northwesttwo.org.uk
1-13 Cricklewood Lane (Co-op store and other shops, flats, health centre, offices)
Freehold sold: 16 Jan 2017 for £14.6m (not including VAT)
New owners: Centre East Properties Ltd, incorporated in the British Virgin Islands. We know nothing about this company apart from the addresses held by the Land Registry; basic web searches tell us nothing about them and companies incorporated in the BVI don’t have to make public who the directors, shareholders or beneficial owners are, or publish their accounts.
Intentions: In July 2017, we knew the Co-op and most other shops had leases that run until 2026. We were told the tenants in the flats had been given notice. According to the sale brochure, the flats used to be leased to Frays Charitable Housing Association Limited, part of the Paradigm Housing Group, and the leases were due to expire in November 2016.
In July 2018, a public consultation was announced and a planning application for two six-storey blocks and a fifteen-storey tower block was submitted in November 2018 – see www.northwesttwo.org.uk/1-13/ .
A revised planning application incorporating a 9-storey tower block was submitted in May 2019 – see www.northwesttwo.org.uk/1-13-revised-application/ .
Barnet planning committee approved this in October 2019; the developers have to enter legal agreements with Barnet before planning permission’s granted. Click here to see if that’s been done yet; it hadn’t on 22/02/2021, but the Health Centre has been given notice to quit.
Site History: the 1920 Queens Hall Cinema became a Gaumont in 1949 and was closed in 1960. Click here for more.Updated: 22/02/2021
Matalan, 317 Cricklewood Broadway
Freehold sold: December 2016 for £21.75m
Developers: Ziser London
Intentions: To build and rent out 239 residential units, in blocks 3 to 7 storeys high with the tallest part at the edge of the pavement on Cricklewood Broadway. In the long run, Ziser London have said they’d like to buy the Wickes site and build even taller there, but Wickes have a lease that lets them stay until 2030 and the freeholders don’t seem to be selling either.
The first application included a nine-storey corner and eight-storey frontage. That was cut to a seven-storey frontage and the number of nominally affordable units increased to 50 (21% of the total 239). Contrary to some reports, there’s no social housing; contrary to other reports of “more luxury flats”, more than a third are minimum size or up to 5% larger, and overall the amount of amenity space doesn’t meet Brent’s policies.
Nevertheless, on 10 February 2021 Brent’s planning committee voted 5:3 to approve the application. As usual, approval won’t actually be granted until the Mayor of London’s decision (probably not to get involved) and the completion of an agreement between Ziser London and Brent. The developers wouldn’t be ready to start demolition and construction immediately anyway. We understand Matalan can stay until the developers are ready.
Fly-tipping: Ziser London are responsible for the land in front of the electricity transformer on Temple Road. London Power Networks are responsible for the little fenced square of land containg the transformer. Matalan are responsible for the rest. In 2016, after we pushed them on the piles of fly-tipped rubbish all along the back fence, very close to the homes on Stoll Close, Matalan fenced off all that area. Also, they now lock the gate into their carpark when the store’s closed, and Ziser London have chained off the land in front of the substation.
See also: updates on northwesttwo.org.uk
Cricklewood Green (northwest of Cricklewood Lane)
Description: The Green sits between the wide pavement on Cricklewood Lane and the B&Q store. It’s the only public space and the only open green space in central Cricklewood, and is a registered Asset of Community Value. The annual Cricklewood Festival takes place there and the Saturday market and occasional French market are in front of it.
Owner: London Borough of Barnet
Intentions: In 2015, Re (the joint venture between Barnet and Capita) proposed that most of the land be sold for development. The report to Barnet’s Assets, Regeneration & Growth Committee said the Green was “primarily used as a disabled access ramp to the B&Q store. It is regularly fly-tipped and attracts rough sleepers among other social issues such as alcohol and substance misuse. The proximity to local businesses means on-going disturbance to businesses, environmental degradation, and Health & Safety concerns resulting from substance/alcohol misuse and excessive littering.”
They proposed “the disposal of the site to Pocket Homes for a scheme of 42 intermediate-affordable units with retail space on the ground floor.” The report stated that the land had been bought from the Crown Estate on the basis that it could not be built on, and that the Crown Estate had agreed in principle to lift that restriction and share the undisclosed sale price. The report proposed selling to Pocket Homes without putting the site on the market or inviting bids from anyone else.
Local residents reacted angrily and the item was taken off the committee’s agenda. Neither the council nor Re made any statement.
Montreaux have suggested they could remodel the Green while developing the B&Q site. They’ve shown artists’ impressions but not firm proposals.
History: When much of Cricklewood was still being built, at the end of the nineteenth century, railway sidings covered all the ground that’s now the B&Q carpark and buildings, with an embankment at the end sloping down to Cricklewood Lane. In 1987 a company called Charterhall Properties (Cricklewood) bought all that land to build a retail superstore and associated car parking. As part of that, they contracted to make the embankment “a public open space … to make substantial provision for tree and shrub planting within it … attractively landscaped and set out” — our Green. Barnet would then adopt and maintain the open space.
Later, Tepbrook Properties (owners of the Galtymore site, developers of Beacon Bingo and the neighbouring Travelodge) bought the retail stores and the carpark, but not the Green. Charterhall still owned that, but in 1997 the company, renamed Campden Developments, was dissolved. The Green became “bona vacantia” — vacant goods — and the property of the Crown (i.e. the state), and eventually passed to the Crown Estate. They didn’t want to take responsibility for it by maintaining it and it became overgrown. B&Q, who’d bought the retail stores and carpark from Tepbrook in 2001, complained to the council about the state of the Green repeatedly.
In 2004 Barnet bought the land from the Crown Estate for £500, on condition that they would not let any part of “the property be used for any purpose other than that of a public garden public amenity area or public highway and not to erect any building….”
At this point, the land was adjacent to the Cricklewood Regeneration Area, which included “part of Cricklewood Lane … for the purpose of improving the transport links to and from Cricklewood.” Afterwards, Barnet included the land in the giant outline planning permission, extending from the junction of Cricklewood Lane and Cricklewood Broadway to beyond Brent Cross Shopping Centre, without suggesting any other purpose for its inclusion.
In 2015 it was proposed that the land be sold and built on – see above.
Barnet’s right to dispose of the land is restricted by a covenant made in 2015, and varied in 2016, between the borough and various companies involved in the Brent Cross Cricklewood development.
In November 2017, we finally succeeded in persuading Barnet to register Cricklewood Green Space as an Asset of Community Value.
In 2018, Centre East Properties published plans for redevelopment of the adjoining 1-13 Cricklewood Lane (see above). Their planning application included two versions of a “Cricklewood Quarter” occupying all the B&Q site and carpark and much more besides. One version includes a five-storey block on the full length of the Green; both versions showed a sixteen-storey tower block behind it, a six-storey block on the small embankment between the Green and the railway, and about eighteen other new blocks.
In 2019, Montreaux announced they’d bought the B&Q site, but they don’t own the Green and tell us they’ve no plans to build on it. Click here for further details of what they do intend for the B&Q site, including a 25-storey tower.
403-405 Edgware Road – Oxgate Admiralty Citadel
Freehold: sold to Amafhh Investments in September 2014 (two Land Registry entries, each showing £1,875,000)
Planning application: 20/4143
History: In 1923, the Admiralty Chart Factory was set up on this site, a long way from the sea but in an industrial area with skilled labour available. In 1937, the site was chosen to be a bomb-proof emergency Admiralty citadel with a reinforced lower basement, in case of war. Building work finished in 1940 and naval staff were stationed here throughout the war, but it was never used as an emergency command base. Later it was occupied by the Health and Safety Executive and then by carpet companies. The basements kept flooding and having to be pumped out.
Intentions: A 17-storey, 3-basement hotel and conference centre, some light industrial space, some community space.
Brent received the planning application in December 2020 but it wasn’t validated (e.g. not technically clear and complete) until February 2021, so the consultation process began then and Brent planning portal’s open for comments until 26/03/2021.
Parts of the application are unusually assertive, even argumentative. That becomes clearer in the planning statement, which eventually explains that developers have been talking with Brent since 2015, and in 2019 submitted a pre-application. That much is normal and it’s no surprise we’re only hearing about the pre-application now; they’re commercial and confidential. The developers themselves didn’t mention it in their mid-2020 community engagement either. Anyway, according to the developers, Brent’s response was very negative; in particular, Brent wants to see this side of Staples Corner used for homes and industry, and this development could compromise that or simply goes against it. The developers argue that this is perfectly appropriate use of the land and Brent should have produced a masterplan for the area already. Of course, there’s a lot more to the argument and we’re only getting one side’s account of it.
249-289 Cricklewood Broadway, plus both sides of Hassop Road behind it
Freeholder: apparently Ravensale Ltd (owned by one of the Paddington Basin developers) since at least 2003. Price unknown.
Leases: various, expiring 2021.
Past & present: At present, the Cricklewood Broadway buildings are shops – mainly furniture shops – plus a gym and some offices. But as those with long memories know, this was once the centre of a revolution.
Nearly a hundred years ago, this was the factory of Rolls Razor, and in about 1960 it went from making razors to making washing machines. These weren’t sold in shops as usual; they were sold direct from factory to customer through newspaper advertisements, on hire purchase and at prices half of those of the competition. In one year, 200,000 were sold. Suddenly, women whose week had revolved around washday could escape the washtub and mangle.
Then Hoover and Hotpoint cut prices to compete, a postal strike hit orders and a backer pulled out. In four years, the company went from moribund to boom to bust, but leaving vast numbers of washing machines in homes across the country. The factory shut down.
Intentions: Ziser London have made a planning application to add two storeys to the Cricklewood Broadway buildings, revamp them and convert all but the ground floor into 157 shared living units for rent – that’s separately rented rooms with their own kitchenettes and sharing kitchens, dining and living rooms, plus various facilities and amenity space. The refurbished rear would look out onto Hassop Road. The buildings opposite on Hassop Road would also be refurbished but still be light industrial units, and the stretch of Hassop Road between them redesigned as a shared space with trees and suchlike, and parking space for delivery and service vehicles only. The whole development would be designated car-free; the council might allocate disabled parking spaces as required but otherwise residents would know they’d have no car park and no chance of parking permits.
The Brent planning application reference is 21/0470 and the planning portal’s open for comments until 17/03/2021.
400 Edgware Road – the road/rail superhub
Click here for our news items and articles about DB Cargo’s contruction spoil and aggregates site at 400 Edgware Road. The latest ones may not be at the top or even on the first page – sorry!