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Battle over Brent Cross plan

PUBLISHED: 15:53 16 September 2009 | UPDATED: 14:41 24 August 2010

FUMING residents have demanded a controversial regeneration scheme be called in by Government top brass amid accusations that it is not beneficial to the borough. People across Brent and Barnet are rolling their sleeves up for a David and Goliath fight

FUMING residents have demanded a controversial regeneration scheme be called in by Government top brass amid accusations that it is not beneficial to the borough.

People across Brent and Barnet are rolling their sleeves up for a David and Goliath fight with developers of the proposed £4.5 billion Brent Cross Cricklewood regeneration plan.

Lia Colacicco, St Gabriel's Road, Cricklewood, said: "The plans are just so outdated and completely short-sighted.

"We do not deny that this part of London needs redevelopment but what could be real opportunity for proper environmentally sound regeneration is being missed.

"It seems they are banking their whole 'green' agenda on the waste disposal instead of proper thought out solutions."

Politicians Sarah Teather, MP for Brent East, and Dawn Butler, MP for Brent South, have joined the chorus of voices demanding that John Denham, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, calls in the decision, which so far has only received backing from politicians in Barnet.

Ms Butler has written a letter to Mr Denham calling for the decision to be called in.

Ms Butler said: "This proposal does not take into account Government guidelines in regards to affordable housing, carbon neutral development and others.

"It has also failed to consult meaningfully with constituents on both sides of the border so it was important for me to put a constructive letter outlining the failings of the proposal."

The demand was made as developers announced almost £1 billion of community investment with £200 million going on roads, £50m on Staples Corner roundabout, £109m on community facilities such as health and schooling.

Ms Teather said: "Every major development in Britain is required to make a financial contribution to the local community. It's like announcing that we drive on the left hand side of the road, or that the Pope is a Catholic.

"The developer's spin doctors cannot change the fact that this dismal scheme needs radical improvement if it is to benefit people in Brent."

Jonathan Joseph, Brent Cross Cricklewood Development Partners, said: "We are able to refute all the points raised, both individually and collectively. The scheme will deliver significant benefits to Brent, Camden, Barnet and indeed, the whole of North West London.

"This is a scheme of regional importance hence our work with the Greater London Authority, Transport for London and others over a number of years.

"There is no justification to call in the scheme, which fully complies with both local and regional planning policies and indeed exceeds them in many respects.


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