THE developer has welcomed approval for the huge Brent Cross Cricklewood redevelopment as an “important milestone”.

Jonathan Joseph of the Brent Cross Cricklewood development partners addressed the second night of the planning committee meeting to allay fears over the plans for the £4.5bn scheme.

After the meeting he said: "Clearly we are delighted with this cross-party decision which is an important milestone in the creation of a new town centre at Brent Cross Cricklewood.

"For too long this part of Barnet has been neglected and our plans will see significant investment in new transport and community facilities, including new buildings for 3 schools, new health facilities and major improvements to Clitterhouse Playing Fields as part of a network of green spaces.

"We will deliver 7,500 new homes, help create 27,000 jobs, transform Brent Cross Shopping Centre, and create a brighter future for current and future residents alike.

"We have much detailed work still to do but this is great news for people across North West London."

During the meeting he said: “I'm genuinely sorry our vision does not appear to be shared by everybody.

“Most of the views expressed yesterday do not represent those of local people who I've worked with over the last ten years. This really is a once in a generation opportunity.”

He highlighted the £1bn package of road improvements and community infrastructure given over as part of the development, which will see three schools and several parks regenerated.

On the power station he said: “We're as concerned with public health as anyone else and if we're not satisfied it will not go ahead.”

He also moved to give reassurances about a chimney for the plant, which he said needs to be 30 metres taller than the nearest buildings and would be unlikely to reach 140m as suggested last night.

He added: “Nano particles talked about last night are a concern but they are produced as an every day from all sorts of industrial processes and there's no research to suggest nano particles are a by-product of combustion of synthetic gas.”

He denied the traffic forecast, which says about 9,000 new cars will pass through every day, was wrong as had been claimed and said a much talked about light railway connection was not ruled out.

The current Cricklewood and Hendon stations would also not be closed after a new station is built on the 150 hectare site and there will be three new bus routes created, he said.

To questions on the amount of affordable housing, only guarantees 13 per cent of the units on the site currently, he said it would depend on the state of the housing markets when the detailed planning applications were submitted.