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Borough by borough: Brent
The iconic stadium of Wembley, which is at the heart of Brent, is known the world over. But Brent’s cultural diversity, green spaces and excellent transport links, means it is more than a footballer’s paradise.
With more than half of its population born overseas, Brent is characterised by its cultural diversity and social atmosphere. It is the heartland of many of London’s ethnic communities, with the impressive marble temple in Neasden symbolising its large Hindu population. Boasting many parks and green spaces such as Queens Park in Kilburn and the Brent Reservoir and nature reserve, Brent is the ideal choice for many families.
Already supported by excellent transport links, Brent is set to benefit from the future 24-hour running of the Jubilee line. A rail link between Wembley Central and Old Oak Common HS2 station will further improve the area’s connectivity.
With its iconic arch seen right across London, Wembley Stadium is undoubtedly Brent’s biggest landmark. Reopened in 2007 following a complete reconstruction, Wembley is the largest football stadium in the UK and it attracts millions of visitors to its national and international matches each year. Wembley is also host to one of the UK’s major entertainment venues, Wembley Arena, which having also undergone a complete redevelopment, now boasts state of the art facilities.
The redevelopment of the stadium and arena has been the catalyst for a major regeneration project in Wembley, covering a 55 acre area surrounding the venues. Much has happened since the mixed-use master plan was approved; in addition to over 500 new residential units and much needed student accommodation, a huge designer outlet and a grand cinema complex opened its doors in 2013, creating 600 new jobs. A new civic centre and library as well as a four star Hilton Hotel were also recently opened.
The first phase of North West Village, a 1,000 unit residential development, is due to complete towards the end of 2016. This will form part of a new neighbourhood with local shops, restaurants and leisure opportunities. Ideal for families, this new village will be supported by new schools, nurseries and health centres and will benefit greatly from new lawns, play parks and a new winter ice rink. There has been a marked demand for the new scheme; having already sold at least 62% of the first phase off plan at an average of c £600 per sq. ft.
Brent’s residential market is already reaping the benefits of the ongoing regeneration, with prices rising 13% in the last year. With an average house price of £416,506 it represents the London borough median, but this may well change – especially as the expected population increase of over 34,000 is way in excess of the current development pipeline of 5,250 units.