Legal offer on regeneration plan
THE man leading one of the biggest regeneration plans ever seen in the UK offering to sign a legal document to allay residents fears is not something you see everyday. But when you are in charge of the �4.5 billion redevelopment of one of the most rundo
THE man leading one of the biggest regeneration plans ever seen in the UK offering to sign a legal document to allay residents' fears is not something you see everyday.
But when you are in charge of the �4.5 billion redevelopment of one of the most rundown pockets of the capital you are willing to go that extra mile to make things perfect.
Jonathan Joseph, who has been leading the Brent Cross Cricklewood project, made the pledge during an exclusive interview with the Times about the development which has caused some in Brent to run a campaign against it.
Brent Cross Cricklewood will create 7,500 new homes, deliver modern new facilities for 3 schools as well as completely revamping the current shopping centre and as part of that a new waste treatment facility is being built to replace the current facility which already exists on the site.
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Mr Joseph said: "We are willing to sign a legally binding contract to say that we are not building an incineration plant.
"We were never planning to build one and all that has come out is a lot of misinformation and scare-mongering. It is simply not true.
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"The existing waste transfer station operated on behalf of North London Waste Authority (NWLA) by a major waste company is already there but people just do not know about it.
"At the moment waste is brought in, compacted, put on a train and sent to landfill sites located remote from the capital which is a desperately old-fashioned and bad thing to do - completely unsustainable in fact.
"What we will be doing is building a new waste handling facility some 100metres away from the existing facility, and which will have the capacity to handle about 450,000 metric tonnes of waste per annum."
Mr Joseph said the new facility would see around 70 per cent of waste which currently goes to landfill turned into a refined fuel which would power homes as well as go back into the National Grid; most of the remaining 30 percent will be recycled, with a very small proportion being sent to landfill.
He said: "In this waste treatment plant, the waste will be dried, then sorted.
"Things like batteries, pieces of glass and any other recyclables come out and what you are left with is a very clean, largely organic dried substance which is classed as a renewable fuel and which looks like dry papier mache."
From this building, the fuel will be transported underground to the thermal treatment centre, which will be located in an area currently occupied by a large timber pile.
Once inside the thermal facility, the fuel will be super-heated or "cooked " in batches and the gases which generated by the process collected, cleaned and then used exactly like any other gas such as propane or natural gas in order to generate energy through gas engines or turbines. There is no burning and no flames.
Mr Joseph said: "It is totally secure. I know people are concerned about it but hand on heart we are absolutely confident about its safety. We have seen this in other countries and it works well.
"The only thing happening slightly closer to Brent is the sorting and drying of waste which will all be done in a completely sealed building. In environmental terms for the people living here, this, even though it is 100 metres closer, is so much better than what they currently have. I am upset that they are upset - but they genuinely don't need to be."
For more details on the Brent Cross Cricklewood development including traffic, jobs, training, transport and green spaces see the second part of our interview next week.