Comment

Broadwalk plans criticised as “more Canary Wharf, less Edgware”

Edgware Voice on local objections to plans to replace an Edgware shopping centre with over 3,800 homes

The Broadwalk shopping centre in Edgware
The Broadwalk Centre, which would be demolished to make way for the controversial development – (Credit – Edgware Voice)

Plans for Edgware town centre to host the most densely populated development in the UK have ignited a fierce wave of local opposition, as residents and representatives vehemently criticise the project as unsuitable for the area.

The plans, led by Ballymore and Transport for London (TfL), would replace the Broadwalk Centre and bus garage with over 3,800 homes shared between 25 buildings – over half of which will be tower blocks of 18 or more storeys tall.

The formation of a new local campaign group, Save Our Edgware, underscores the depth of public concern, as they have already collected over 4,000 signatures on their petition against “gross overdevelopment” of the site.

Echoing these sentiments Bob Blackman, MP for Harrow East, raised the plans in Parliament, saying “this is going to totally change Edgware town centre, morphing it into a Canary Wharf twin and overwhelming the infrastructure”. Of his own consultation “96% so far are totally opposed”.

More recently, Matthew Offord MP for Hendon joined the campaign with his own petition, tweeting “while I believe Edgware needs investment and some redevelopment, dense, high-rise buildings will be out-of-keeping with the area.”

Despite several rounds of consultation earlier this year, Ballymore and TfLs final masterplan ignores opposition to its “eyesore” tower blocks. At a recent Q&A, Ballymore responded by pointing to the Mayor of London’s directive to Barnet, emphasising that Edgware town centre should accomodate up to 5,000 new homes, hence “height is inevitably needed”. However, this directive has proven ill-judged as the plans have been branded “more Canary Wharf, less Edgware”.

One of the main concerns is the lack of infrastructure, with many comments similar to this one; “we are already struggling with traffic, school places, parking, doctor and dentists surgeries without adding to the problem by building homes for thousands more people to live in the area exacerbating the difficulties we currently face.” Quite simply, another adds, “the proposal is totally out of character with Edgware’s low density suburban identity”.

The plans would also see Edgware as a guinea pig for the UKs first underground electric bus charging garage, with 200 vehicles charging under thousands of homes. With no precedent for such an undertaking, there is legitimate concern about the potential risks posed following the recent history of electric vehicle fires.

Ahead of their planning application, due this autumn, Save Our Edgware continues to call on residents to sign its petitionjoin its Facebook group and write to their councillors. The passionate opposition from the local community reflects their genuine concern for the future of Edgware town centre and the preservation of its suburban identity. If approved, the ten-year development would have lasting impacts on the landscape, infrastructure, and quality of life for residents.

Updates and sources can be found via edgwarevoice.org

The above is a comment piece featuring local campaigns related to this development. This previous report includes an update from the developer some of their views on the benefits of the scheme – and answering some of the questions raised at recent meetings.


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