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.
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.” Another level will be added to Beacon Bingo’s car parking, for the use of residents, and there’ll be basement parking for supermarket shoppers. The supermarket’s to be an ASDA.
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.
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 must be commenced within three years of January 2018.
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 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, and owned the freehold of the B&Q building and carpark in the 1990s.
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. We’ll keep posting updates on our front page as time goes on but we might not always keep this brief summary up-to-date – sorry!
The 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.
Site History: the 1920 Queens Hall Cinema became a Gaumont in 1949 and was closed in 1960. Click here for more.
Matalan, 317 Cricklewood Broadway
Freehold sold: December 2016 for £21.75m
Developers: Ziser London
Intentions: To build and rent out about 280 residential units, presumably after Matalan’s lease runs until 2020, with a planning application perhaps in November 2019.
Fly-tipping: The freeholders, Sentinel Security, 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. Much of the site is cleaner but there is an immense problem with flytipping on the land in front of the transformer.
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: Unknown. 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 has made any statement.
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. 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.