Villiers says Edgware development plans “should be scrapped”

The Chipping Barnet MP called on the Mayor of London and developers Ballymore to ditch proposals that would give Edgware “a higher population density than Manhattan or Hong Kong” reports David Floyd

A map from the website of the Save Our Edgware group that gives an indication of what Edgware would look like if the tower blocks planned by TFL/Ballymore are built.
A map cof what Edgware would look like if the plans go ahead – created by the Save Our Edgware campaign group

Chipping Barnet MP Theresa Villiers is calling on the Mayor of London and developer Ballymore to come up with “a new set of proposals” for their controversial redevelopment of Edgware town centre.

The plans – which focus on the site of The Broadwalk shopping centre – have attracted significant protests from local campaginers including the Save Our Edgware. 

While the scheme sits outside Villiers constituency, the MP says it will have a significant impact on the Edgewarebury area, which will become part of Chipping Barnet at the next general election. 

Villiers said: “The proposals for Edgware town centre should be scrapped. The scheme now under discussion would be a massive overdevelopment. A new set of proposals should be produced following extensive consultation with local residents.”

She added that she told the mayor, TfL and their development partner, Ballymore that “Building 25 tower blocks, including 13 of over 20 storeys, is completely wrong for an outer suburban area such as Edgware. This would give Edgware town centre a higher population density than Manhattan or Hong Kong. Local roads and infrastructure would not be able to cope. Allowing these tower blocks would violate longstanding planning rules protecting the character of the London suburbs.”

“There is a case for taking forward a regeneration project in Edgware town centre which includes some residential development. But this must be in tune with the character of the surrounding area. The height and density need to be moderate and in line with what local residents are prepared to accept.”

“Inclusion of family sized homes would be important. Sufficient parking spaces should be provided for any new homes and for town centre visitors.”

“And TfL must provide answers on the facilities which they plan to provide if Edgware’s covered bus station is removed. I know how important this facility is for passengers, not least because important bus services in my constituency (such as the 384 and 107) start and finish there. It is not acceptable for there to be so much uncertainty about the future of the bus station.”

“It would be wrong for TfL to replace the bus station with poorer waiting facilities. They should conduct an extensive consultation on replacement facilities before anything moves forward on a planning application to redevelop Edgware town centre.”

When invited to respond to the MP’s comment, developers Ballymore defended their plans. A spokesperson told Barnet Post: “We are proud of our proposals for Edgware Town Centre.

“The project would deliver 3,365 new homes (including up to 1,100 affordable homes) and 460 student accommodation spaces at a time when London needs new housing more than ever. In addition, it would create nearly 1,500 new full-time local jobs, generating circa £3 million annually in spending within the local area, and an increased GVA of circa £80 million annually.

“A total of £1.7billion would be invested in Edgware Town Centre over a 10-year period, making Edgware an outstanding place for modern urban living, with thriving commerce; extensive new public spaces and parks; improved connectivity and public transport, including upgraded bus station facilities; new health infrastructure; new leisure and culture offerings and a variety of homes.  

“The densities outlined in the proposed development are not unprecedented, noting that the scheme would not be the densest scheme in Barnet let alone London, and with the highest transport accessibility rating offering it is an excellent opportunity for higher density sustainable development.

“Over the last three years we have consulted key stakeholders and met more than 3,000 members of the local community. These conversations have fundamentally shaped our scheme and we look forward to continuing these discussions as we progress through the planning process.”

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