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Redevelopment plans for Edgware raise concerns among residents

Ballymore, a leading property developer, and Transport for London’s (TfL) commercial property company are collaborating on ambitious plans to redevelop Edgware Town Centre.

The proposed redevelopment includes the creation of a new transport interchange, an electrified bus garage, and a substantial investment of £1.7 billion. While the plans promise economic growth and job opportunities, they have faced significant opposition from local residents, with many signing a petition titled ‘Save Edgware Now’ who are against the proposed development.

The redevelopment plans, which have been developed over the past two years in consultation with the local community, aim to transform Edgware Town Centre into a vibrant destination. The project team has actively engaged with the community, with feedback from these engagements leading to changes in the proposed designs, including adjustments to the scale of the development, enhanced retail and commercial spaces, and the introduction of new open green areas.

To ensure further community input, a new round of consultations is currently underway, offering residents an opportunity to view and provide feedback on the evolved master plan. These consultation sessions have seen a positive response, say TfL, with over 450 people attending drop-in sessions in the past two weeks. Additional events are scheduled to take place before the end of July, allowing further feedback to be gathered before a planning application is submitted in the autumn.

Redevelopment plans for Edgware raise concerns among residents Harrow Online
Edgware Station, 2023.

If approved, the redevelopment is projected to generate £80 million in gross value added (GVA) for the local economy and create over 1,400 full-time jobs. The plans envision a new town centre with a mix of retailers, including a larger Sainsbury’s, as well as new community facilities like a cinema, a community library, a GP and dental clinic, and an NHS wellbeing centre. The development also focuses on sustainability and environmental considerations, incorporating renewable energy sources and green spaces such as a community food garden and the opening of the Deans Brook Nature Park.

However, the proposed redevelopment has sparked controversy among some Edgware residents. A petition, signed by nearly 4,000 individuals at the time of writing, highlights concerns about the scale of the development and its potential negative impact on the town centre. Critics argue that the plans represent gross over-development, with excessively tall residential towers and insufficient infrastructure to support the increased population. The loss of current shops and parking spaces, which are integral to the existing town centre, has also raised apprehensions among residents.

Opponents of the redevelopment question the decision to designate Edgware for significant residential development compared to other towns in Barnet Borough. The petition expresses concerns about the strain on essential services such as healthcare and transportation infrastructure, as well as the potential disruption caused by the estimated ten-year construction period.

Local residents are urging Barnet Council and the Mayor of London to recognise the objections raised in the petition and reevaluate the proposed development. They advocate for a more balanced approach, suggesting a lower density of construction, the replacement of shopping facilities, increased parking provisions, and improved supporting infrastructure.

A spokesperson for Ballymore said: “We understand that on a project of this significance, there will be a whole spectrum of views locally, all of which deserve to be heard.

“As a project team, we are committed to engaging with the people of Edgware and want that dialogue with the community to ensure that we can successfully deliver our vision of an Edgware for everybody.

“Since early 2021, we have met over 1,400 members of the local community and held over 120 engagements be that individual or group meetings, our monthly drop-in sessions or public exhibitions. This last week alone we have had over 450 visitors to our public exhibitions.

“We will be continuing to engage and consult until the application is submitted and beyond, and would encourage anyone who wants to have their say to come along to our events and speak to the team directly or to visit our website to learn more.”

Redevelopment plans for Edgware raise concerns among residents Harrow Online
Edgware Broadwalk Shopping Centre

A spokesperson for Barnet Council said: “Proposals for re-development of the Broadwalk Shopping Centre and TfL Bus depot are being brought forward. The Council adopted the Edgware Growth Area Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) in 2021, a planning framework which identifies place-specific opportunities for regeneration and renewal. This provides a framework for attracting investment through a coordinated approach that allows renewal and recovery, enabling Edgware to better serve as a destination for local residents and business, something that we know is important to the community.

“Barnet Council is actively working with developers Ballymore and Transport for London to ensure that any re-development of the site directly addresses concerns and helps to realise opportunities identified by the community. These include improving the high street, creating better pedestrian routes and providing more family-friendly activities.

“There will be further opportunities for residents and businesses to provide input through consultation on the Planning Application, once submitted, and via additional engagement activities that the council is leading. We encourage everyone to engage with this process and to share their views, whether negative or positive.”