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Special Report: Brent Cross Town

Mark Hempshell reports

London has seen a number of proposals for new neighbourhoods in recent years of which the latest is for Brent Cross Town. As well as being a large development in its own right, the proposals for Bright Cross Town contain a number of novel and interesting elements that have been introduced with a post-Covid world in mind. In this report we will take a look at what is being planned, as well as what these elements might mean for other, upcoming major developments in the UK.

The Brent Cross Town site in north London is one that will be familiar even to many non-Londoners. The site is close to the start of the M1 motorway (or end of it to those in the Midlands and north) at the intersection with the A406 North Circular Road, and close to the well-known shopping centre of the same name.

The total development site is around 180 acres. It is currently occupied by commercial uses and is adjacent to existing residential areas and public open space. Redevelopment here has been discussed for at least a decade but has not progressed until now. The project is part of the wider Brent Cross Cricklewood regeneration programme and was previously known as Brent Cross South.

Brent Cross Town is being promoted by Argent Related alongside local authority Brent Council through their development vehicle BXS LP. Argent Related brings together Argent and Related, the largest privately-owned real estate firm in the US. The scheme has a gross development value of around £5bn.

The proposals indicate that Brent Cross Town will comprise 6,700 new homes both for sale and for rent. Brent Cross Town is also planned to be a major new office destination. There will be 3m sq ft of commercial space, aimed at a broad spectrum of sectors and potentially accommodating 25,000 employees. The plans also propose retail space, restaurants, leisure, culture and event space plus local amenities and services and the redevelopment of three local schools.

Notably the developers are proposing that Brent Cross Town will be what is described as a ‘park town’. It will incorporate 50 acres of parks and playing fields plus 150,000 sq ft of indoor recreational facilities for those who live and work in the area.

Although the site already has good road accessibility, a new station is in development that will provide the area with excellent rail connectivity. The new Brent Cross West station is already being built on site and should open in 2022 well in advance of the wider development itself. The station is likely to offer frequent Thameslink services into and through London with central London reachable in 12-15 minutes and with potential for direct services to southern England, the Midlands and north too.

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