Stonebridge community group wins appeal for Bridge Park battle to go straight to full trial
PUBLISHED: 16:13 09 June 2020 | UPDATED: 16:27 09 June 2020
A Stonebridge community group has a green light to take the ongoing battle for Bridge Park to trial after winning an appeal, arguing that it has a claim to the land.
The Harlesden People’s Community Council (HPCC) has been locked in a legal battle with Brent Council since 2017 over the sell-off of Bridge Park Community Leisure Centre in Harrow Road.
Attorney General Suella Braverman could have intervened and shot down the community’s hopes but in a letter on May 21 she said she would take a neutral stance.
Brent’s legal team had tried to argue the community had no standing to advance a legal case but a High Court appeal has ruled otherwise.
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Jay Mastin, chair of Bridge Park Community Council (BCPP), the HPCC steering group, said: “This our successful appeal which was heard during the Covid-19 in March 2020, is another big step in our steady fight to victory for the community.”
He added: “Bridge Park Land and Complex is unique and is the largest project of its type in Europe, owned, built and managed by the community. I feel our fight for justice may go on to create a legal precedent.”
In January 2017 Brent Council approved a conditional land sale with Stonebridge Real Estate Development Ltd, a new subsidiary of the Luxembourg-based General Mediterranean Holdings (GMH).
Plans for the site include a hotel, retail space and new homes in the adjacent empty Unisys office next door, already owned by GMH, and a new £12.25million replacement sports centre, with a gym, sauna and swimming pool.
Brent Council leader Cllr Muhammed Butt said: “The council has had little choice but to take this through the courts to defend the attempt by HPCC to place a restriction against the Bridge Park title.
“Our number one aim all along has always been to work with the community of Stonebridge to deliver a modern facility that meets their current and future needs, including new leisure facilities, more space for businesses, affordable housing and a bigger community space.
“Whatever the court decides, the council remains committed to working with the local community to provide better facilities to improve the lives of all residents.”
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