It has become clear that the issue isn't just the railway, it is becoming ever more clear that Edgware is next on the list for "Colindaleisation". If you wonder what this means, have a drive around Colindale. Ten years ago, this was just another sleepy part of the Borough. Now it has been transformed into a hellish visionn of a mini Manhattan, with all the soul drained out (apart from a few small bastion such as The Chandos Arms).
The first phase of this has started, with an application for a huge car park on the land behind the Railway. This has become a huge rubbish dump, as you can see in the film. You can read about this application by clicking here.
The area in red behind the pub car park is the location
As we looked at the plan, the question became clear. Why is a temporary 175 place car park required in Edgware? As we walked around and discussed what was going on, it became absolutely clear. Any major construction scheme requires a base and a substantial amount of parking for workers and a depot for deliveries. A cursory trawl through the council website reveals that this has started. A plan has been submitted for the adjacent plot. This states
Non-material amendments to planning permission reference 16/0112/FUL dated 13/01/2016 for 'Demolition of 120-124 Station Road and full planning permission for the rebuilding and extension of 102-120 Station Road to provide 1,705sqm retail floorspace (Use Class A1/A2) including a new frontage to Approach Road; redevelopment of rear car park for new buildings ranging in height from 3 to 17 storeys with podium level to provide 122 flats (Use Class C3) and a further 150sqm of new retail floorspace (Class A1/A2/A3) to Approach Road. The provision of car parking, landscaping and amenity areas and environmental improvements to Station Road and Approach Road, a pedestrian site access from Station Road and Approach Road and vehicular site access from Approach Road'.Amendments to include, roof handrails for safety reasons, balcony detailing, fire escape route, blocks C and D are relocated 225, away from the boundary, door and column omitted on the east elevation.You can read all of the details here. This has been approved with no objections and the local population seems totally unaware that plans for a new 17 floor tower is about to appear on the High Street. When I studied the plan, I realised that it was simply changes for a previous plan, also approved with five objections. It is clear to me that the community were not made properly aware of this application.
16/0112/FUL | Demolition of 120-124 Station Road and full planning permission for the rebuilding and extension of 102-120 Station Road to provide 1,705sqm retail floorspace (Use Class A1/A2) including a new frontage to Approach Road; redevelopment of rear car park for new buildings ranging in height from 3 to 17 storeys with podium level to provide 122 flats (Use Class C3) and a further 150sqm of new retail floorspace (Class A1/A2/A3) to Approach Road. The provision of car parking, landscaping and amenity areas and environmental improvements to Station Road and Approach Road, a pedestrian site access from Station Road and Approach Road and vehicular site access from Approach Road | 102-124 Station Road And Car Park To Rear Edgware Middlesex HA8 7BJThe full details are listed here. Oddly three of the five comments are not shown. This is very much a Trojan horse development. Although there is already a tower on the site, this is a massive increase in size and scale, as this drawing shows.
What is clear is that this proposal was only the start of the process. The Railway is a key site in all of this. The site is worth millions of pounds but a Grade II listed building is a very inconvenient obstacle. Why else would the current owner have allowed it to deteriorate and have open windows, holes in the fence etc?
You may ask what are the 'Local Councillors' doing about all of this. The answer is that they are rather sadly doing nothing. They are not rallying the community. They are not explaining why a developer wants a 'temporary car park'. They are not organising public meetings. why could this be? One of them, Sarah Wardle works as a 'planning consultant' has this expertise been used to the benefit of the local community who voted for her and pays her allowance, has her Could it be because of their lack of local associations with the site and the history of Edgware? I don't know, but I do know that the Railway Hotel is loved by the local community and the total lack of action is completely bemusing.
A few words must be said about English Heritage and Historical England. Both have been made aware of the situation on numerous occasions, by many people. Mark Amies has campaigned non stop, but has received nothing but fob off communications saying Barnet Council are dealing with it. One of the reasons I make these films is to ensure there is a historical record of what has happened. This means that when local politicians tell porkies, we can hold them to account. We made this video a year ago on 7th Jan 2019.
These two videos, a year apart, show exactly what happens. What do you think the video and blog we put together in January 2021 will show? If I was a betting man, I'd say that it will show something very different indeed. I would also put my house on these planning applications not being the last major changes to the High Street in Edgware.
You may have your view on what we are seeing. I have mine. I believe we are witnessing the fall of Edgware as we know it. I honestly believe that unless people wake up, what we are seeing in Colindale will spread all the way up The Edgware Road, around the corner into Edgware. I don't think that this will be as part of a single grand scheme that we can unite against, but as a 1,000 small cuts, none of which benefit the local population and as small schemes, none of which will deliver any of the infrastructure needed to support such a change. Make no mistake, none of this is about providing social housing. This is about 'luxury flats' to make billions for developers.