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Calls for public inquiry into rail super-hub in Cricklewood

PUBLISHED: 07:39 08 March 2018 | UPDATED: 09:51 08 March 2018

A billboard went up in 2017 urging people to object to a freight super hub in Cricklewood (Picture: NorthWest2 Residents Association)

A billboard went up in 2017 urging people to object to a freight super hub in Cricklewood (Picture: NorthWest2 Residents Association)

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Brent councillors are demanding a public inquiry following Barnet’s green light for a rail “super-hub” in the face of huge opposition.

Cllr Ahmad Shahzad, Cllr Liz Dixon and Cllr Lia Collacicco have written to Sajid Javid, the secretary of state for local government, asking for Barnet Council’s rail “super-hub” decision to be investigated.

Last month Barnet planners gave the go-ahead for the hub, on the boundary between Brent, Camden and Barnet, despite campaigners urging the council not to proceed.

Under proposals, the site on Edgware Road will become a freight transfer site for aggregate and other transport materials.

Cllr Shahzad, for Mapesbury ward, said: “Where a planning decision goes across boundaries, or is controversial, the secretary of state can decide that a public inquiry is the only fair way to settle it.

“This ticks both boxes, so we are calling on Mr Javid to listen to residents from Kilburn, Mapesbury, Dollis Hill, Welsh Harp, even Dudden Hill and Willesden Green”.

More than 4,000 objection letters were sent to Barnet Council from residents who argued that 450 polluting HGVs will roll through their roads creating noise, pollution and traffic jams.

Dollis Hill’s Cllr Dixon, added: “Hundreds of residents wrote objecting to the traffic and the pollution. Given the weight of public opinion and the implications of these plans, Barnet’s attempt to gloss over our objections on technicalities is disgraceful”.

Cllr Colacicco, founding member of the Coalition for a Sustainable Brent Cross, said: “Barnet tried to silence Brent by not publishing our objections and request for a postponement. “The decision was made by a majority of one on political lines, only months away from elections that might very well change that borough’s political mix – can one administration in its final days bind the hands of its successor on such an important, controversial and poorly managed process?”

A Barnet Council spokesman said: “We are satisfied that the planning committee processes were followed correctly in relation to the consideration of the Rail Freight Facility, and that the planning committee heard and considered the objections that were put forward.

“Any request for a public inquiry would be a matter for the secretary of state to consider.”

A spokesman for the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government said the case had been referred to the Mayor of London after which Mr Javid will decide.

He added: “The secretary of state has received a letter about the proposed Edgware Road freight hub, and will decide in due course whether to call the application in.”

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