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Brent Cross is an area of north London, in the London Borough of Barnet. It is located near the A41 Brent Cross Flyover over the A406 North Circular Road. Brent Cross is best known for its shopping centre and the proposed Brent Cross Cricklewood development.

GeographyEdit

File:River Brent at Brent Cross - geograph.org.uk - 1738558.jpg

Brent Cross is in the London Borough of Barnet and contains the Brent Cross Shopping Centre. The area takes its name from an old crossroads near the River Brent and is not in the London Borough of Brent (that local authority lies to the west of the nearby A5 Edgware Road). It has no specific boundaries but in general only premises west of the Brent Cross Flyover, east of the M1 motorway and close to the North Circular are described as being in Brent Cross. The River Brent passes through it, flowing from east to west in a man-made channel.

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History Edit

"Brent Cross" was originally the name of a crossroads in the vicinity of the current Brent Cross Flyover. By 1944 the term was being used to describe addresses north of the A406 North Circular Road and west of the A41 Hendon Way[1][2] and after the eponymous shopping centre was built it was also used to describe business addresses south of the North Circular.

Previously the area had been known as Renters Farm, a name dating from 1309, and it remained largely farmland until the nineteenth century. In the late nineteenth century a sewage works was built there and Hendon Greyhound Stadium stood there from 1935 to 1970.[3] In 1976 the Brent Cross Shopping Centre was opened, the first stand-alone shopping centre to be built in the UK.

In the 1920s and 1930s, two major roads through the area were constructed, the east-west A406 North Circular Road and the north-south A41 Hendon Way. In 1923 the Northern line (Edgware branch) was extended on a short viaduct over the River Brent. In 1965 the Brent Cross Flyover was built to carry the Hendon Way over the North Circular. In the 1970s, the North Circular Road was upgraded with a huge east-west flyover rising from Brent Cross above both the A5 road and the railway line.The M1 motorway was extended south to meet the North Circular Road slip roads below this flyover.

Shopping Centre Edit


When Brent Cross Shopping Centre opened in 1976 it was the first stand-alone shopping mall in the UK.[5] It was initially constructed in a dumbbell shape running east-west parallel to the North Circular Road, with the two largest stores (John Lewis and Fenwicks) at the ends. It was expanded and renovated beginning in 1995, with additional shops and restaurants on an arm running north from the middle. A multi-storey car park replaced the remainder of the open parking area to the north.

Although it is smaller than more recent shopping centres such as the MetroCentre, Bluewater, Lakeside and Westfield London, it has one of the largest incomes per unit area of retail space in the UK.

Brent Cross currently offers 8,000 free car-parking spaces, but according to the planning application submitted in March 2008 (see below) will eventually introduce parking chargesTemplate:Citation needed.

On the 6 November 2012 six people on three motorbikes entered the shopping centre and smashed in the windows at jewellers Fraser Hart. An estimated £2m worth of jewellery was stolen.[6]

Brent Cross Cricklewood developmentEdit

Main article: Brent Cross Cricklewood

Brent Cross Cricklewood is a planned new town centre development in Cricklewood. The development is planned to cost around £4.5 billion to construct and will include 7,500 homes, Template:Convert of offices, four parks, transport improvements and a Template:Convert extension of Brent Cross Shopping Centre.[7] The developers of the scheme are Hammerson and Standard Life.[8] Construction is planned to start in 2014 and to take around 20 years to complete.[8]

Transport Edit

File:Brent Cross Bus Station 2010.jpg

The London Underground stations nearest to the shopping centre are Brent Cross and Hendon Central, both on the Northern Line. According to the council, both "feel very remote and lack adequate pedestrian links and signage", and the 10 to 15-minute walks are through "a hostile pedestrian environment.".[9][10]

The bus station adjacent to the shopping centre is served by 13 bus routes. It is open 24 hours and when the shopping centre is closed a cash machine, some phone boxes and drinks and confectionery machines remain accessible.

Transport developmentEdit

Transport schemes have been proposed involving Brent Cross, as part of, or concurrent to, the Brent Cross Cricklewood development. These include

References Edit

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  4. Museum of London - Shopping Centres
  5. London Transport Museum View of shopping centre, 1977
  6. Armed robbers on motorbikes raid Brent Cross jeweller BBC News. 6 November 2012 Retrieved 6 November 2012
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  9. London Borough of Barnet Development framework, chapter 3, page 13
  10. London Borough of Barnet Development framework, chapter 3, page 12
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  14. Campaign for Better Transport (UK) Press release on 'Brent Cross railway'
  15. London Campaign for Better Transport North and West London light railway (NWLLR) / Brent Cross Railway (BCR) plan

External links Edit

Template:LB Barnet Template:London landmarks Template:Areas of London