"TRADERS are slamming plans to extend Brent Cross Shopping Centre, claiming it will be a nail in the coffin for high street town centres.
"... Plans for the centre include 20 new shops, a large department store and improved parking facilities.
"... Usama Siddique, Chairman of Barnet Traders Association, said:
"A lot of small businesses are going to pack up because of this, and it will have a detrimental effect on all the centres across the borough.
Big shopping centres surround Barnet, yet the council will not provide any more facilities to improve the town centres. All they have done is install controlled parking zones, with no free parking anywhere.
North Finchley and Golders Green centres are just coming back from the brink, with more shops opening, but this extension will affect them badly - I think approving these plans will be the wrong decision."
"... Geoffrey Davis, president of Golders Green Chamber of Commerce and member of Temple Fortune Town Centre Forum, said:
"If Barnet Council approved the plans, it would be disastrous for town centres.
Shopping malls are slowly killing town centres, but I think that Barnet Council feel the same as us, and will turn it down."
"... If Barnet Council approve the plans, work will start next year, and will not be completed until Christmas 1999.
"... A spokesman for Barnet Council said:
"The council is committed to the widest possible consultation with residents and traders who will be affected by the plans."The council is now preparing a summary of the proposals, and residents and traders will be asked to have their say. The views of the community will then be considered by councillors, as part of the planning process."
(22 May 1996)
The plans were rejected by the government in 2000, and Hammerson eventually lost an appeal.
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