Councillors in Childs Hill have called on Mayor Sadiq Khan “not to vandalise Golders Green” over the proposed multi-story redevelopment of the bus station and dismantling and reassembling the war memorial.
Conservative councillors Peter Zinkin and Shimon Ryde with colleagues in Golders Green and Garden Suburb wards have called on TfL and the Mayor to work with residents and councillors to ensure their redevelopment of the bus station would be sympathetic to its surroundings, which fall entirely within the town centre conservation area.
The issue was raised at a meeting of the Council’s Policy and Resources Committee and included concerns over plans to move the Clock Tower War Memorial, unveiled in 1923, from the junction of Finchley Road and North End to make way for a new road layout.
Cllr Zinkin said: “I call on TfL and the Mayor of London not to vandalise the centre of Golders Green and to work with local councillors and their residents to rethink their plans.
“Any proposals put forward must be sympathetic to the existing town centre, with its conservation areas and listed buildings, and the movement of the war memorial must be sensitive and respectful to the memory of those it honours.”
Following Cllr Zinkin’s concerns, which included opposing a covered “undercroft” bus station, the committee agreed to put the planning brief on TfL’s proposals to public consultation in the borough.
Speaking after the meeting, Cllr Ryde expressed concerns TfL’s current plans were driven by a cash-pressed TfL rather than good design sympathetic to the historic town centre and had the potential to cause traffic chaos.
He said: "The recent increase in traffic we are seeing on our roads, particularly from the new generation of large coaches, means that we are already at breaking point. The area simply cannot cope with more buses and coaches."
Golders Green town centre grew rapidly in the early 20th century following the arrival of the Northern line in 1907 and trams in 1909. Its shopping parades feature buildings in the late Victorian, English Renaissance, Art Nouveau, and Baroque architectural styles.
The 10.3 hectare site being considered for redevelopment falls entirely within the Golders Green Town Centre Conservation Area, designated in 1998, and mostly in the “Central Hub” area.