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Brent Cross shopping centre 'best in Europe' under Hammerson and Standard Life plans on display this week
Brent Cross shopping centre “will become the best in Europe” under £4billion regeneration plans that went on display this week.
Centre manager Tom Nathan admitted the huge project has been a long time coming but believes people are now desperate for developers to “get on with it”.
Outline plans for the Brent Cross side of the scheme, which includes the construction of thousands of homes in Cricklewood, are being shown in a series of public exhibitions at the shopping centre this week.
Developers Hammerson and Standard Life Investments gained outline planning permission for the development in 2010 but are reapplying to Barnet Council following amendments to the Brent Cross designs.
Mr Nathan, who joined the centre as manager 12 years ago, said: “Brent Cross is in need of becoming bigger, more modern and having facilities people really want.
“I’m confident when this is all finished we will have the best shopping centre complex in Europe.”
Under recent amendments to the plans, a new walkway would be built over the North Circular Road and junction improvements at major roads in the area would be brought forward.
Speaking at one of the public exhibitions this week, Mr Nathan said: “The overwhelming message so far is ‘please get on with it’.
I came here 12 years ago thinking a redevelopment was around the corner. It has been a long 12 years but I’m very excited, the retailers are very excited and this will be fantastic for the area.”
The public exhibitions continue until July 6. For a full list of locations, dates and times, visit www.brentcrosscricklewood.com
The Times Series spoke to a number of shoppers at the centre after they had viewed the plans this week:
Mrs Evans, who has lived in Hendon for 45 years, said: “There is not enough housing and what there is, is too expensive.
“I personally don’t see any need to enlarge Brent Cross but I understand why they want to.
“Parts of it I’m very happy with – like the road improvements and the schools - if they get built that is as I suspect they will come last.
“I hope the people that live in this area will eventually be happy with it but we’re a long way off knowing at the moment."
Peter Murphy, who has lived in Willesden Green since 1980, said: “We’ve been looking forward to this for a long time. This area needs shopping and housing and jobs.
“We badly need this for the new station and transport improvements. The roads around here are dangerous at the moment.
“I’m happy with the number of homes and particularly the bridge – it will make use of the space and make a big difference.”
Graham Beech, from Golders Green, said: “It looks fantastic – fresh and new. This area badly needs regeneration – it is a bit run down, a bit dated.
“This must lift everyone and the area as a whole – if it doesn’t, nothing will.”
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