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Times: reader’s comment - Brent Cross: Is it done for?

PUBLISHED: 08:00 12 August 2018

Hammerson's plans for Brent Cross.

Hammerson's plans for Brent Cross.

Archant

The plan for Brent Cross to rival the two Westfield shopping centres seems to be dead, overtaken by Brexit uncertainty, higher costs and on-line shopping (Times, July 26), writes John Cox, Chelsea Close, Harlesden.

Its developer Hammerson announced a delay of unknown years, but its car-based expansion may now always be too risky.

Unlike the Westfields, the shopping centre is also distant from railways because its out-of-town location on major roads was deliberately chosen in 1976 and it cannot be undone.

Buses from Brent and along the A5 are slow and often unreliable.

Hammerson is being mocked in the press about last month’s announcement about shrinking the company – following its attempt earlier this year to take over rival shopping chain Intu, then saying it was a bad idea after all.

Another rival, French company Klépierre, may bid again for Hammerson in the autumn, after the six-month cooling-off period expires.

Instead of all this happening above our heads in Brent, Camden and Barnet, it would be great if the savings in our pension funds could be invested instead in our high streets, to reinvent them now that shop numbers are in slow but continual decline.

Meanwhile it is hard to see how other parts of the Brent Cross Cricklewood scheme, like housing, will survive intact.

Hammerson was going to build lots of new roads – its new Tempelhof Avenue bridge over 18 lanes of the North Circular Road and other traffic may now be abandoned.

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