Community urged to attend meeting to stop the planned Bridge Park Community Centre sell off

Bridge Park Community Leisure Centre (pic credit: Brent Council)

Bridge Park Community Leisure Centre (pic credit: Brent Council) - Credit: Archant

A community battling to save a Stonebridge leisure centre is urging supporters to attend a consultation this weekend.

Members of the Save Bridge Park Campaign, formed by Bridge Park Community Council (BPCC), are holding a formal public meeting this Sunday at Bridge Park Complex, in Harrow Road, from 2.30pm to 4.30pm.

Campaigners understand Brent Council is to apply for a summary hearing to lift restriction that the land registry has placed on Bridge Park after BPCC successfully applied for protection on the land last year.

All sections of the community are urged to attend to receive an update of the on-going legal challenges being faced by the campaign.

The primary objective is to protect the community’s interest in, and control and development of, the Bridge Park land and properties.

In June 2017, Brent Council entered into a Conditional Land Sale Agreement with Stonebridge Real Estate Development Ltd a new subsidiary of the Luxembourg-based General Mediterranean Holdings (GMH) for the sale of Bridge Park Complex land.

The plans include a hotel, retail space and new homes in the empty Unisys office next door to the site, already owned by GMH, and a new £12.25million replacement sports centre, with a gym, sauna and swimming pool.

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However a strict condition of the sale is that the land must be free of all interests.

Jay Mastin, chair of BPCC, said: “In August 2017, an application was made by BPCC to the Land Registry to restrict Brent Council from selling Bridge Park.

“BPCC made several offers to negotiate with Brent Council. However, they have chosen to not come to the negotiating table.

“Instead they have apparently sided with commercial interests and have used council funds to take the community to the High Court.”

He urged the “wider community” to come to the meeting, adding: “We would like support from the local support. This is out legacy. It is a building we own, we raised the money through grants, Brent are merely the custodians of it.”

Cllr Margaret McLennan, deputy leader of Brent Council, said:

“On several occasions the council has offered to work on the redevelopment project with members of the community, however, they refused.

“This was even before Mr Leonard Johnson started a legal process to claim ownership of council land.

“Whatever the court decides, it doesn’t change the fact that we are fully committed to working with the local community to ensure that any proposals taken forward are done so with the aim of improving the lives of our residents.

“Carrying out such a project is not a straight forward process and this application to the court is to clear up a few legal matters.

“ By resolving this as quickly as possible we can move forward and deliver the much needed new community centre, affordable homes and new jobs.”