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Neighbourhood Watch: Cricklewood

Setting the scene

CHANGE is afoot in this well-established suburb. Last month, the government awarded Barnet Council £320m of funding — in addition to a £97m grant in the 2016 budget — to build 7,500 homes between Cricklewood and Brent Cross, alongside a new Thameslink station. A public consultation on the station design takes place tomorrow and Thursday — find out more at barnet.gov.uk/brentcross thameslink. Transport links are good, as Cricklewood nudges the North Circular, has an existing station and buses into the West End, and the Jubilee Line at Willesden Green.

What’s new

High-spec: Gladstone Village

Gladstone Village, from Octavia Living, is a new community on the edge of Gladstone Park that caters for a broad spectrum of buyers, with homes ranging from one-bedroom apartments to family houses. Building work is complete and most of the units have sold, though two four-bed townhouses are available. Arranged over three storeys, they include open-plan kitchen/living areas with separate utility rooms, underfloor heating and parking spaces, from £995,000, via Goldschmidt & Howland, g-h.co.uk. Two more are offered for shared ownership, from £497,500 for a 50 per cent share of £995,000, gladstonevillage.co.uk.

Convenient: The Broadway

Fairview’s The Broadway has a mix of one, two and three-bed apartments conveniently located on Cricklewood Lane, close to the station. Each has a balcony or terrace and a white gloss kitchen with appliances. From £378,000 with London Help to Buy on offer, fairview.co.uk. This Saturday, 23 one, two and three-bedroom apartments launch at Greencrest Place, a refurbished 1980s building (pictured below) with newly constructed top floor and terraces. Prices from £319,950, hamptons.co.uk.

Snooping around

Victorian and Edwardian houses and conversions make up the bulk of Cricklewood’s housing stock. Late Victorian cottages in The Railway Terraces, built for rail workers and now a conservation area, are highly sought after, and the biggest houses are in the Hocroft estate, between the Hendon Way and Cricklewood Lane and on the Willesden Green borders. Buyers get more for their money than in West Hampstead, though the regeneration is forecast to boost property prices. ‘The area attracts first-time buyers and families looking to upsize. Prices start from £300,000 for a one-bed flat,’ says Mark Davidson of Dexters.

Vital statistics

Council tax: (Band D) £1,545.41 Commuting time: 14 minutes to St Pancras International

Annual Travelcard cost: £1,404

Amenities: ★★★☆☆ Shops, cafés and fast food joints on Cricklewood Broadway; B&Q, Wickes, Matalan, Raft Furniture; John Lewis, Fenwick and leading chains in Brent Cross shopping centre where owner Hammerson has put expansion plans on hold; Staples Corner Retail Park; Clayton Crown is a 4* hotel in a Grade II-listed building, formerly the Crown pub; Virgin Active Gym

Open space: ★★★☆☆ Gladstone Park has a playground, tennis courts, café, art gallery and walled flower garden; Mapesbury Dell

Schools: ★★★★☆ GCSE and A-level results are above average; virtually all state schools judged as good or better by Ofsted

Crime: ★★★★☆ Below average

Local girl: Victoria Coren Mitchell

Who lives there? First-time buyers and families in a wide range of jobs, and increasing numbers of young professionals

Famous faces: Writer and presenter Victoria Coren Mitchell grew up in Cricklewood

Rent report

‘Tenants love the larger size of the houses compared to neighbouring locations, while enjoying the amazing transport links. One-bed flats tend to rent for £1,300-1,400pcm, whereas a three/four-bed house is £2,400+,’ says Matt Mann of Chelsea Square.

Property ladder

First rung

£330,000, Dexters, dexters.co.uk

Small but perfectly formed, this first floor conversion flat has a contemporary kitchen/living/dining room, a double bedroom with built-in wardrobe and en-suite bathroom, and a communal garden.

Average for Cricklewood

£725,000, Chestertons, chestertons.com
This very spacious first and second-floor duplex comes with three bedrooms, two bathrooms, a living room, separate eat-in kitchen, a terrace, eaves storage and off-street parking. The average property price for Cricklewood over the past 12 months is £723,298 according to Zoopla.co.uk.

Luxury

£1.8million Dexters, dexters.co.uk; Foxtons, foxtons.co.uk

A five-bedroom, four-bathroom house on a corner plot, fitted with marble flooring and underfloor heating throughout the ground floor. Has CCTV, off-street parking and a landscaped garden.