Sustainability is at the heart of the Brent Cross Cricklewood regeneration programme. From how we are designing the programme, to how we build it and the materials being used, to how we envision the park town evolving in the future, we want to leave a sustainable legacy.
Here’s how we’re doing our bit to create a sustainable borough, fit for the future.
A 15-minute town
Brent Cross Town, the new park town at the heart of the Brent Cross Cricklewood regeneration scheme, will be London’s largest 15-minute town, meaning people will be able to walk from home to school, work, public transport, shops and places of leisure, reducing the carbon footprint of the new community.
And the 15-minute concept is welcomed by residents. Argent Related commissioned a survey by insight agency Copa which found that close to 60% of UK residents agreed that lockdown had enhanced their love of their immediate area, and 70% of people are enthusiastic about the idea of the 15-minute town.
Enhancing green spaces
More than a quarter of Brent Cross Town will be public green spaces.
Brent Cross Town will incorporate 50 acres of parks and playing fields, including eight public squares, and seven new and improved parks, meaning a net increase in the amount of green space for the public. We are working to engage members of the public with that green vision too – read about our consultation on Clitterhouse Playing Fields here.
Throughout the town centre there will be trees and other greenery planted, encouraging greater biodiversity whilst protecting the local environment and wildlife habitats. Over 700 new, mature trees will be planted across Brent Cross Town, in parks, the town centre and new parks. Trees currently planted in the temporary Exploratory Park will then be transferred to the completed Claremont Park, which is due to open in spring 2022.
From the new town to Brent Cross West station, sustainability is also key to how we build.
The Brent Cross Town Visitor Pavilion, which opens in November, has been constructed using cross-laminated timber (CLT). CLT cuts carbon emissions as it is made of renewable wood – often from reforestation – produces low waste, and provides excellent insulation, so buildings made with CLT are naturally more energy efficient from the get-go
Everything that is produced from the demolition to build Brent Cross Town has been crushed and used elsewhere on site. Concrete and brickwork from the first demolition in 2019 has now been re-used three times. And by reusing material instead of disposing and importing, it’s estimated that the earthworks strategy has reduced the number of lorry journeys by 15,000.
Also at Brent Cross Town, a deal has been signed with Vattenfall Heat UK to provide low-carbon heating to homes, shops, and other businesses across the development. The 8MW district heating system will be the largest installation of its kind in the UK, and the firm continue to work with Barnet Council and developer Argent Related with a view to eventually removing all CO2-emitting sources.
As well as other low carbon and zero carbon heat sources, air supply heat pumps will provide over 80% of heat to the new town’s homes and businesses.
Last year we also revealed plans for the Eastern Entrance of Brent Cross West station. From the moment passengers set foot into the new station they will see the green focus, with vines connected to ground floor planters by a wire trellis system, ornamental trees sitting in the entranceway, and extensive planting and other ecological enhancements throughout the station.
The station eastern entrance will also be built with glulam timber, which provides a sustainable alternative to steel or concrete for the construction of the roof as it consumes less energy during the manufacturing process.
How we get from A to B will be key to sustainability in the future.
The new Brent Cross West station provides the gateway to the new development and is expected to see two million journeys in its first year, rising to five million by the time the regeneration scheme is completed, with up to eight trains per hour. It will offer links to central London in just 12 minutes.
The station is being built with passive provision for the West London Orbital route. If this line gets the green light it would take vehicles off some of the country’s busiest roads including the North Circular – the UK’s most congested highway.
Brent Cross West is being integrated with other forms of sustainable transport too. The eastern entrance building will offer cycle parking for 68 bikes, whilst the new overbridge, part of the new station, will offer a pedestrian and cycle route across this part of the Midland Main Line for the first time since it was built 150 years ago, linking our communities.
And the station’s eastern entrance will open into the transport interchange in the Station Quarter, which will be integrated with new walking and bus routes, making sustainable travel easy.
Across the wider Brent Cross Cricklewood regeneration area there will be new pathways, an improved network of walking and cycling routes, and improved bus services. New roads that are designed to slow traffic and prioritise pedestrians. And provision is being made not just for electric charging but for other technologies as they emerge to create the infrastructure for people to take up more sustainable forms of transport.