Cricklewood residents claim Brent Cross development will destroy their community

Housing estate to be flattened as part of the controversial �4.5billion project

ELDERLY residents have called on developers not to destroy their community after plans for a major regeneration project was given the go ahead.

The Whitefield Estate, in Cricklewood, will be demolished as part of the �4.5 billion Brent Cross Cricklewood development from 2015 with new housing offered in return for those who want to remain in the area.

But concerns over the loss of a community spirit built up over decades and the type of new accommodation on offer have rallied opposition to the plans.

Olive Lupkowski, who has lived in Whitefield Avenue for 50 years, said: “They will never be able to reproduce what we have here. We keep our gardens nice and there is a lovely community spirit. I don’t want to live in a block of flats. We look after each other round here, shop for each other and go to church together.”

Ms Lupkowski was also concerned about the effects of the move.

She said: “I’m 80 now. They say moving is one of the most stressful things you can do. I will wait and see what my health is like at the time because I may need to go into a home but they haven’t planned to build one in the first phase.”

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The developers, Brent Cross Cricklewood Partners (BCCP), will appoint a resident advisor next year to help manage the transfer and said they will try to help residents who wish to stay together.

Jonathan Joseph, BCCP spokesman, said: “‘We expect that one-to-one discussions with all home owners of Whitefield will commence in the early part of next year.

“We have already committed to provide a new home for all existing leaseholders, freeholders and secure council tenants who wish to remain in the area.

“As the new properties are likely to have higher values than existing properties on the Whitefield Estate, we will put in place a scheme to ensure existing homeowners can afford to live in the new properties.”