LiveLive blog: Cricklewood Regeneration Scheme meeting

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  • Councillors will discuss plans to redevelop Cricklewood and Brent Cross.
  • The £4billion plans were granted outline planning permission by Barnet Borough Council three years ago - but amendments to the original plans have called a new meeting.
  • It is the biggest application in the history of north west London, with more than 7,500 homes planned.
  • More than 27,00 jobs will also be created in the huge new town centre with retail, dining, leisure and community facilities.


Plans have been passed with a majority of 6:4.


We're now going for a vote. It's been reccomended for approval.


However, planning permission for the green space has already been approved for the main development.


Agnes Slocombe: “I can understand Brent Cross wanting to catch up with Westfield.

“But I too remember B&Q when was added there. I don’t see why this application has to take in the Cricklewood Green Space bit at all.

“It can be dealt with without taking away the green space from the people in Cricklewood.”

Her speech met with claps and cheers.





Cllr Jack Cohen will vote against the proposals.


Cllr Jack Cohen: “I get the impression the developers are playing fast and loose with the Cricklewood Open Space. Will it be a new health centre? New Rosa Friedman Centre? Will it house the residents from Whitefields?

“Nobody knows, and if they do they aren’t prepared to say.

“Why is it being moved to phase 1?

“Developers are so vague, and risks are so high, we should tonight reject any plans to develop this open space.

“Anything else will be an outrage and an insult to local residents.”


Cllr Cohen says the reason why the Cricklewood Green Space was provided in the first place was because Barnet was deficient of green spaces.

“What was relevant then is even more relevant today.”


Cllr Jack Cohen: “The changes proposed tonight are all one sided. They all come from the developer.”


Mr Josephs now also says building on the Cricklewood Green Space could be developed during phase one of the project.



Jonathan Josephs has called the Cricklewood Green a 'sloping void'.



Mr Josephs says the figure of 29,000 extra car journeys a day is “utter nonsense”. The true figure is less than 10,000.


He said: “There are real and tangible benefits that will come forward quickly if you approve this. People need and will welcome the new jobs.”

In the first year, 5,000 new jobs will be created in the centre, with 18,00 in construction.


He said the new pedestrian and cycle bridge, which has been dismissed by residents this evening, will connect the north and south with the western parts of the borough for the first time.


Jonathan Josephs, from the Brent Cross Development Partners, says Brent Cross was once "the jewell in Barnet’s crown” and residents deserve for it to be so again.


He admits he is curious about the idea of a lite-railway, but it is something “very aspirational” and “unlikely to be delivered in the near future.”


He added: “The new housing will cheer up a whole area.” His speech is met with scoffs, laughs and mild boos from the public gallery.


Barnet Council Leader Richard Cornelius is in favour of the application.

He said:“I don’t often go all beady eyed and enthusiastic, but just grasp the vision of a marvellous new shopping centre. When it was first built, Brent Cross was the best shopping centre in Britain.”


Speaking on behalf of Sarah Teather, Liberal Democrat MP for Brent North, Ibrahim Tabhri says: “As far as Brent is concerned, it will turn a vibrant green suburb into a toxic green traffic trap.”


Brent Borough Council has also voiced objections to the plans.


Cllr Alison Hopkins, who represents the Dollis Hill area of Brent Borough Council, speaking now.

She said: “These are car-centric plans, which camouflage its true role - it is doubling the size of an out of town shopping centre.

“We have fought these disastrous proposals for many years.”


If planning permission is approved, work will commence in 2016.


The centre has 5,000 employees. “We can see it gently decline, or reinvigorate it and double that number.

“I urge the committee to grant planning permission today.”


He said: “I can tell you successful retailers from the UK and across the world are looking for a base in north London. John Lewis have written in support of a new and improved Brent Cross.”


We’re now hearing from Tom Nathan, the general manager of Brent Cross Shopping Centre. He started off as a Saturday boy in Clarks Shoe Shop when it first opened.


Jim Roland, Barnet Friends of the Earth. He said: “Air pollution kills”.

He’s giving examples of non-smokers who have died of lung cancer.

This scheme proposes to add 29,000 extra car journeys per day.


Lesley Turner, from the Cricklewood Residents Association, says “The Living Bridge will be a living hell”.


Lia Colacicco: “I ask you to reject this, and come back with plans that do not include Cricklewood Green.”


He’s got photographs of Cricklewood Green, which show how well-loved and well used it is.


Alisdar Bethley,  who represents residents of The Grove, close to Cricklewood Station and Cricklewood Green Space, speaking now:

“Developers have the ambition that Brent Cross will be a world-class destination - for such an ambition, there must be a world-class transport structure.

“It must have the aim of reducing air pollution and not increasing it as is the case of these plans.

“To improve the situation all the public bodies must rethink these plans. Don’t you think, councillors, you should question the officers about these arguments? They were totally ignored in 2009.”


He said: “Why should I show an interest in the owners of Brent Cross Shopping Centre? They haven’t shown much interest in us for the last ten years.”


John Cox: “It’s been billed as a living bridge for pedestrians and cyclists - but there are no viable through routes on the north side. You could only use the cycle routes to get to the bigger shopping centre.”


She added: "Don't build on our very precious green spaces."


Jean Emmanuel said: “You missed the opportunity to visit the character and history of our street, and appreciate the uniqueness of it. It’s on a long cul-de-sac with no other houses looking over it."


Brent Terrace will be subject to the most change in the development, after the Whitefield Estate. Householder Jean Emmanuel is angry that the developers have failed to visit residents.


She’s made a final point about the grassy slope between B&Q and Cricklewood Lane, which is due to be destroyed.

“It is unsuitable to be built on at all. It will take away the only green space in Cricklewood Town Centre, which is a lung to the pollution and traffic.”


The Rosa Friedman Care Home and sheltered accomodation will also be demolished and she’s asked for the committee to consider rehoming its residents together.

Pauline McKinna: “They have built up a support network together and because of their vulnerability and frailty, rehoming them together would lessen the trauma of the move for them.”


Pauline McKinna: “The Whitefield Estate is due to be demolished - but residents don’t want to move. It will be a major disruption to their lives and it’s a very stressful situation to be in, having to start again to make a new home for themselves.”


Pauline McKinna, of the Cricklewood Community Forum, is speaking now





“It’s a town centre - we will turn what is currently an inward facing shopping mall to an outward facing shopping district”


Developers don’t want to entertain a shopping mall-type proposal - it’s been specifically designed to ensure it’s got the feel of a ‘traditional town centre’


Amendments to the original plans include a new pedestrian and cycle crossing over the Living Bridge.

This is the most important change - it will be a duel pedestrian and cycle crossing over the A406.


Over 7,500 new homes will be built under the scheme - at least 15 per cent of these will be affordable housing


The minor application will 'effectivley improve' the area around Brent Cross and Cricklewood, according to the planning officer


Changes to the original planning application, which was granted approval three years ago, have triggered this meeting.





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