Campaigners joy that Brent Cross Shopping Centre expansion delayed

The Brent Cross Cricklewood scheme has always attracted controversy

The Brent Cross Cricklewood scheme has always attracted controversy - Credit: Archant

Campaigners in Brent are “delighted” that developers have delayed the expansion of the Brent Cross Shopping Centre.

Property giant Hammerson and partners Standard Life Investment announced on Tuesday that it has decided to “defer the start date” on the £1.4bn retail outlet project due to start this year.

In a statement the company blamed the “current turbulent period in UK retail and uncertainty with the current outlook” adding: “We remain committed to Brent Cross and recognise its role as one of London’s leading retail destinations. We will remain engaged with retailers and stakeholders to deliver our key objectives.”

The proposed plans to transform the shopping centre formed the main element of Brent Cross London, a larger £4.5bn regeneration plan by Barnet Council for Brent Cross and Cricklewood.

Alison Hopkins, former Liberal Democrat councillor for Dollis Hill, said: “I’m extremely pleased. Hopefully it means that the plan that was disastrous for 10s of thousands of people in Brent will have to go back to the drawing board where they can make it people friendly, not traffic friendly.”

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The wider regeneration plans include plans for waste transfer station in Geron Way, Cricklewood and a freight transfer site on Edgware Road.

She added: “If it means the aggregate site and the dump are dead then this is great. If it means the disastrous changes of road layouts being paid for by Brent Cross developers levy, if all that’s now dead, then great. This is carnage for Barnet Council.”

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John Cox, a transport campaigner from Harlesden, added: “I’m delighted that the car-based shopping centre plans have been put on hold, hopefully abandoned. It’s been pushed back time and time again. The centre is in the middle of nowhere, with Barnet Council estimating an extra 29,000 extra cars a day. It’s a major breakthrough for those of us who don’t want this.”

Richard Cornelius, leader of Barnet Council, said he remained focused on the regeneration plans, adding: “Whilst we are naturally disappointed that there will be a deferral in the works due to start at Brent Cross Shopping Centre, we welcome the long-term commitment shown today in the centre and overall scheme.“

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