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 – even Brent Cross Cricklewood, eventually.
Edgware Road / Geron Way
Developer: A2 Dominion
Construction: Higgins Construction
Planning application: F/01932/11 made in May 2011, permission granted in April 2013. Dominion withdrew the application they made in 2008.
Site: Former Parcel Force Depot, Geron Way, London, NW2, also called Land South East Of 2 Geron Way London NW2 6GJ. UPRN 000200134947.
Construction: began Jan 2016. In 2016, Higgins Construction’s construction bulletin said the tower cranes were due for removal in spring 2017 and “the Works are due to be completed and handed over to the client on the 11th MAY 2018.”
194-196 Cricklewood Broadway (the Galtymore site)
Developer: Tepbrook Properties
Planning application: 17/0233/FUL (alternative reference PP-05713200) made in January 2017, permission granted at planning committee meeting in May 2017.
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 suggests construction starting in 2017/2018.
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.”
History: 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 bought the freehold of the B&Q building and carpark more than 20 years ago.
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: unknown. The Co-op and most other shops have leases that run until 2026. We’re told the tenants in the flats have 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.
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
New owners: Sentinel Security Inc, 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: unknown. Matalan’s lease runs until 2020. They tell us they have some renewal rights and are not in the habit of closing stores, and a quick look at their accounts for recent years does seem to bear that out; they do close stores sometimes but not often. London Power Networks’ lease on their little square of land runs until 2092.
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. The whole site is now much cleaner.
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.
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 store and the carpark, but not the Green. Charterhall still owned that, but in 1997 the company, which had changed its name to 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, it became overgrown and B&Q complained repeatedly to the council.
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.
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.