CONTROVERSIAL plans for the £4.5 billion regeneration of Brent Cross and Cricklewood have been rubber stamped by the Mayor of London.
Boris Johnson yesterday approved the largest planning application in the history of north west London, which will create a whole new town centre in the borough.
The scheme, including 7,500 new homes and likely to create 27,000 new jobs in the area, has been described as “a welcome boost to the local economy in Barnet and to London as a whole”.
Opponents of the development have claimed it is “disastrous and dangerous” and have continually fought the planning process at every stage.
But Mr Johnson said the project will provide a new gateway to London and will help drive the city forward and out of the recession.
Despite being approved by Barnet Council bosses last November, the scheme had to be referred to the Mayor and has taken three months to access because of the complexity of some of the proposals surrounding level of road improvements.
Mr Johnson said: “Having carefully considered the proposal I am satisfied that the application fulfils the need to have the kinds of transport links that will bring fluidity and rejuvenation to Brent Cross while avoiding potential problems caused by any extra traffic.”
Members of the Coalition for a Sustainable Brent Cross Cricklewood Redevelopment oppose the work saying it will bring 29,000 more cars to the roads and the number of new homes will be overdevelopment.
They also fear a proposed power station on the massive development site will create dangerous particles.
The Mayor has though dismissed these claims and said the investment will bring “ a new vitality to a part of the capital in need of regeneration”.
Mr Johnson added: “This is another great example of pushing ahead with major development and infrastructure improvements to create jobs, and boost the capital’s economic growth, while transforming the quality of life of thousands of Londoners.”
A 5,000 name petition by the coalition has been handed to the John Denham, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, calling for a public inquiry. His decision is still to be made and could yet result in further delays to the project, which is scheduled to take 25 years to complete.
More reaction to follow...