Local councillors slam major Edgware town centre scheme as ‘excessive’

Developer Ballymore is proposing more than 3,000 homes in towers up to 29 storeys on the Broadwalk Centre site, reports Simon Allin, Local Democracy Reporter

The Broadwalk Centre in Edgware and (inset) plans for its redevelopment
The Broadwalk Centre in Edgware and (inset) plans for its redevelopment

Conservative councillors for Edgware are calling for an “excessive” development to be scaled down amid concerns over its local impact.

Developer Ballymore and joint venture partner Transport for London (TfL) are planning to build tower blocks up to 29 storeys high at the site of the Broadwalk Centre in Edgware town centre, providing 3,365 homes and 460 student flats.

The proposed scheme would involve demolishing the shopping centre and building 13 blocks of more than 20 storeys at the northern edge and middle of the site, dropping down to between five and nine storeys towards the southern boundary.

According to the developer, it would provide 769 parking spaces, including 344 public bays and 425 residential spaces. The current car park includes more than 900 short-stay spaces for shoppers and 250 long-stay spaces.

Edgware councillors have launched a petition calling on Barnet Council and London mayor Sadiq Khan to listen to the concerns of residents and ensure a reduction in the size and scale of the proposed development.

The councillors are also calling for similar levels of non-residential parking and “decent” levels of residential parking, adequate infrastructure and services such as GP practices, and a full consultation with residents on the revised proposals.

It comes after a question-and-answer session last month where residents shared their views on the proposed scheme.

Edgware ward councillor Lucy Wakeley said: “Having grown up and currently living in Edgware, I understand the importance of Edgware town centre. Since being elected, we have heard residents’ views on the proposals, including at the Q and A.

“That’s why we’re launching this petition to ensure that residents’ concerns are at the forefront of the development, that the council and TfL listen to Edgware residents and to make sure that many who come to our town centre have a place to park so they can invest in our town centre.’’

Ross Houston, the Labour-run council’s deputy leader and cabinet member for homes and regeneration, described the petition as “very odd”, pointing out that the planning framework for Edgware – which “excluded height restrictions” and “indicated the town centre could accommodate thousands of new homes” – had been approved under the previous Conservative administration.

Cllr Houston added: “Barnet’s planning committees will make a decision regarding the planning application when it is submitted. I am sure they will do their utmost to serve the residents of Barnet while fulfilling their legal duty of considering applications in the context of local, London-wide and national planning policy.”

Developer Ballymore says it plans to provide a range of infrastructure, including 20,000 square feet of health facilities, a new transport interchange, library and flexible community facility.

Although the proportion of affordable housing has yet to be decided, it aims to provide a mixture of affordable rent, intermediate rent, shared ownership and homes for first-time buyers. A further “full round of public consultation” is due to take place before a planning application is submitted to the council later this year.

A spokesperson for the developer said: “As the owners of the Broadwalk Shopping Centre and car park, Ballymore, and our joint venture partners TfL, the owners of the bus station, garage and adjacent land, have a clear vision to breathe new life back into Edgware town centre.

“Our aim is to bring people back into the town centre to live, work, shop, but also to pause, relax and enjoy the area. It is a vision to create a new town centre that is more Edgware and less anywhere, helping to restore a sense of civic pride in Edgware.

“We understand that with a project of this importance there will be a whole spectrum of views locally, all of which deserve to be heard. That is why we have been engaging extensively with the local community for more than two years and will continue to do so throughout the planning process, to provide an opportunity to shape the plans for the future of the town centre.”

TfL and the Mayor of London’s office have been approached for comment.

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