Future boost for high street plan

REGENERATION hopes for a popular High Street have been given a boost after it was accorded equal planning status with its neighbour, writes Kate Ferguson. In a report published earlier this month a government inspector overturned Brent Council s policy o

REGENERATION hopes for a popular High Street have been given a boost after it was accorded equal planning status with its neighbour, writes Kate Ferguson.

In a report published earlier this month a government inspector overturned Brent Council's policy of giving Wembley first choice over shopping and planning developments, and stated that Kilburn must be given equal status as a town centre.

Businesses and councillors in the area have long called for Kilburn to be better recognised as a valuable shopping district.

They claim that while Wembley, has attracted a lot of inward investment because of the stadium, Kilburn, has been overlooked because it lies at the border of two councils - Brent and Camden.

In overturning the long standing precedence of Wembley, Michael Hetherington, an inspector from the Department for Communities and Local Government, wrote: 'I consider that the preference expressed for Wembley over Kilburn, in respect of shopping development, is at odds with national policy and has not been adequately justified.

"I recommend that both are given equivalent status in policy."

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Businesses and councillors welcomed the change, which they hope will help to revitalise Kilburn High Road.

Incumbent Kilburn Cllr Mary Arnold, who lodged the legal complaint which prompted Kilburn's change in status, said: "My challenge to the Brent Core Strategy public hearing was well worth it.

"This means modern retail outlets will be directed to Kilburn high road, as well as Wembley, bringing inward investment to Kilburn, and raising the quality for community, businesses, and shoppers.

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