Comment News

Developers “massaging the figures” on density

Save Our Edgware say the Broadwalk Centre development is the densest

The Broadwalk shopping centre in Edgware
The Broadwalk shopping centre in Edgware – (Credit – Edgware Voice)

The Save Our Edgware local residents group strongly opposes the gross overdevelopment of the soon-to-be-demolished Edgware Broadwalk shopping centre, consisting of at least 25 tower blocks between 10 and 29 storeys high. With a minimum of four projected to be the tallest blocks in all Barnet. This is a very small site and cannot accommodate this proposed very high-density development.

We are keen to have our suburban town of Edgware re-generated sensitively using a gentle density approach. Based upon our calculations, if this development is permitted to go ahead it will be the densest in the whole of the UK.

Now Edgware Town Centre project team have issued a rebuttal on behalf of the developers Ballymore and Transport for London claiming that the Silkstream development is the densest in Barnet, and not the planned Broadwalk development. Is this true or are they massaging the figures?

Let us compare the two developments. The Silkstream project is a redevelopment of the Colindale Sainsbury’s site into a smaller new store and a forest of towers on top, which we believe are less than 14 or 15 storeys high. The Silkstream site is 9.1 acres and will have 1,309 flats which, as Ballymore/TfL say, a density of 144 dwellings per acre.  

Now looking at the Broadwalk development, the Ballymore/TfL plan to build 3,550 dwellings on an area of 17.8 acres, gives 200 dwellings per acre. This is 38% more dense then the Silkstream site.

Ballymore have been spreading confusion regarding the development area available and the number of dwellings for some time. Over time they have quoted figures of 19.5 acres and 25.4 acres. They have also bundled in land which cannot be developed such as the Deansbrook Nature Reserve and Northern Line tracks and holding. In fact, the true acreage of the site is 17.8 acres. They had also quoted the number of dwellings as 3,828 and then reduced it to 3,550, claiming a dispensation for smaller student accommodation. There will, however, still be 3,828 units.

Let’s now look at population density of the new Ballymore/TfL site. Ballymore/TfL are claiming the unlikely figure of 7,000. However, the 2021 GLA population projections cite an Average Household Size in Edgware of 2.82, and allowing say 1.05 persons per student apartment, this gives around a total of 10,000 people. This is a figure which Barnet Council have themselves used. Now, on a development site of 17.8 acres, this equates to a population density of around 139,000 people per sq. km.

This is far in excess of the population density of Hong Kong (110,000 people per sq. km) or Manhattan (29,000 people per sq. km) or Millharbour in Docklands which is the densest in the UK (90,000 people per sq. km).

If you, dear reader, also think the Ballymore/TfL proposals are, shall we say, way over the top why not sign our petition and join our next rally on Sunday 3rd September at 2.00 pm, meeting at the Broadwalk Car Park.


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