Shops missing High Rd chances

by Will Davies Discount stores are not following the lead of the High Road s vibrant night life - by failing to take advantage of an affluent population, a report has revealed. Unlike the Tricycle or Cock Tavern theatres, numerous acclaim

by Will Davies

Discount stores are not following the lead of the High Road's vibrant night life - by failing to take advantage of an affluent population, a report has revealed.

Unlike the Tricycle or Cock Tavern theatres, numerous acclaimed music venues and an increasing number of gastropubs, Kilburn's shops have followed a more downmarket path.

A report by Camden Council's planning department, which will influence future planning decisions, exposes Kilburn High Road as being a 'poor quality shopping environment' - with a lack of modern retail floorspace - which needs improving.


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Kilburn's public transport is praised, as is a 'thriving' evening economy, however the report said 'most traders seeking floorspace in Kilburn High Road are discount comparison stores,' and although there has been some investment in recent years, such as new paving, 'shop fronts could be improved.

It also said the middle section of the mile-long High Road is 'constrained by narrow pavements.'

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Aside from Kilburn Grange Park the area suffers from a lack of open space, and there is 'poor provision for cyclists.'

On the Camden side, limited development opportunities mean little growth is expected and the council will instead 'focus new retail at Camden Town and growth areas.'

On the Brent side Kilburn is second in the hierarchy of town centres after Wembley and there are more development opportunities, notably at Kilburn Square and the Gaumont State.

Proposals by both Brent and Camden council include environmental improvements, and also a 'need to work to improve the quality of shopfronts.'

In South Kilburn, the regeneration will see 1,500 new homes alongside 1,400 affordable homes rebuilt, plus new community facilities.

Public consultation on Brent's planning strategy for Kilburn will be between May and June, with Camden's consultation between October and November.

w.davies@archant.co.uk

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