Allies and Morrison is masterplanning development on the site of railway sidings in Cricklewood.
Railtrack is spearheading plans to create a £700m urban new town in Cricklewood, north London.

The Cricklewood Sidings regeneration plan, masterplanned by architect Allies and Morrison, includes homes, offices, retail, leisure and transport upgrades on a 40 ha site.

Railtrack has formed a joint venture with developer Pillar Property and is applying for outline planning permission this summer for land near the North Circular Road and Cricklewood railway station.

The scheme could link up with Hammerson's plan to extend Brent Cross Shopping Centre, which Barnet council is reviewing. Deputy prime minister John Prescott lifted his block on it last October.

The Cricklewood Sidings project team also includes landscape architect Macgregor Smith, transport consultant Scott Wilson and environmental adviser ERM.

Jonathan Joseph, development manager for the partnership, was bullish about prospects for the development. He said: "This is an extremely exciting project in an area that badly needs attention. When you compare this with other major London schemes in the pipeline, we believe this proposal will be able to be delivered with relative certainty." The scheme rivals major regeneration schemes in London such as the £1bn Elephant and Castle redevelopment and the £1.5bn regeneration around King's Cross Station, itself masterplanned by Allies and Morrison.

It could include 2000 homes, with a high percentage of social units, hotels and leisure, industrial space and a new station. The retail element will depend on the Brent Cross plan.

Barnet council said the scheme could be looked on favourably by the Greater London Authority. A planning spokeswoman said: "It's just the kind of regeneration project it would want to see. It has many of the issues the GLA is interested in, such as improving public transport and offering social housing." Barnet council is putting together a planning guidance note for the development, which is due to go to public consultation next month.

The move follows a knockback for ambitious plans for a huge leisure and retail development in neighbouring Wembley. The 20 ha scheme, masterplanned by Richard Rogers Partnership, was scrapped by Wembley plc last week.

The company, which wants to sell the site, admits that it does not have the skills to get such a development off the ground.