In a demonstration that marked the first of two planned rallies, over 200 individuals took to the streets of Edgware to voice their concerns about redevelopment plans of the Broadwalk shopping centre.
Placards reading “Ten Years of Misery Disruption Pollution Traffic and Noise” and “A Small Shopping Centre In Edgware Turned Into Manhattan By Developers” reflected the feelings of protesters regarding the significant changes being proposed.
The organisers of the rally issued a statement, saying, “Today’s rally through the streets of Edgware demonstrates the concern that local residents have about the developer’s plans for the Broadwalk.”
While recognising the need for new housing, they expressed scepticism about the feasibility of accommodating the volume of new homes and student units within the proposed area.
The organisers emphasised their concerns about the potential transformation of Edgware’s character through the introduction of high-rise structures, some reaching a towering 29 stories.
Central to the debate is the proposed placement of an electrified bus garage below residential blocks, a unique aspect of the redevelopment plan that has generated significant community apprehension.
Demonstrators worry about the possible strain on local streets and Edgware Primary School, as well as potential challenges related to infrastructure and services.
They added, “For our local community to be deprived of our shopping centre for several years will be very detrimental. The severe reduction in parking spaces will have an impact on residents, particularly the elderly, disabled, or parents with young children, and also on many businesses in Station Road and nearby streets.”
In response to the demonstration, a spokesperson for Ballymore, the developer behind the project, highlighted the collaborative nature of the development process, stating, “Over the last three years, we have worked closely with the Edgware community and multiple stakeholders to gain their insights around how the development can best serve the local community as well as meet local needs.”
The spokesperson noted the positive aspects of the proposal, including the introduction of nearly 3,500 new homes, up to 1,100 of which are designated as affordable housing.
The spokesperson addressed concerns about the proposed underground bus garage, stating, “We are consulting with the LFB and other significant stakeholders such as the HSE about moving the bus garage underground, and will continue to do so throughout the outline and subsequent reserved matter applications processes.”
The proposed redevelopment envisions not only increased housing but also various community benefits. “The project will deliver nearly 3,500 new homes, including up to 1,100 affordable homes, creating hundreds of new jobs and spurring economic opportunity across the local area,” the spokesperson stated.
They also highlighted enhancements such as a new cycle hub and access to a new 4.7-acre Deans Brook Nature Park.
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