THE man overseeing plans to redevelop and regenerate the Brent Cross Cricklewood area says they are looking to build a new sense of community in the area.

Plans for the new £4.5bn development were approved by Mayor of London Boris Johnson on Friday and are just waiting secondary approval by the Government Office for London.

They include 7,500 new homes, a power station, train station, an increase of 50 per cent of the shopping centre as well as £1bn to improve facilities, schools and roads in the area.

Jonathan Joseph, the development director for the Brent Cross Cricklewood Partners, said they are now looking to start to work out how best the money can benefit the community there.

He told the Times Series: “The initial target was to get the plans in front of the Government Office for London and the Mayor's Office. Now we're starting to lift our eyes beyond the immediate and look to the future.

“We will carry on explaining our plans to people in the area, but we also want to start building a real sense of community.

“There is a long, hard road ahead. We want to use the few years that necessarily come between planning permission and starting on site to build on our work and put the regeneration scheme at the centre of the community.”

The developers are now looking to start engaging with community groups in the area to see how the money earmarked for facilities can be best spent.

Mr Joseph said there may be some form of community fund or trust set up to help local groups grow.

He said: “We want to get much more under the skin of the surrounding communities and to work with them on how they can achieve their key needs, and to establish a comprehensive delivery programme.

“Everyone can see the sums of money being spent in the Section 106, but how these are sensitively applied will make the difference between success and failure for this scheme.

“It's actually not about huge sums of money, but more helping where we can. We do not have endless sums of money to pour around but we have strong intent to learn and work with local clubs and associations.”

As well as community groups Mr Joseph said there would also be cash set aside to provide training and education for people living in the area to take up jobs there.

He added: “The point of the regeneration is to provide better jobs, training and living conditions and better community facilities.

“Everything from security to training people to take jobs in the offices. There's going to be a wide range of employment for local people and we recognise education and training are at the heart of this.”

A community security force could also be set up to help police and maintain the new estate when it is completed.

Mr Joseph also hinted the developers may be open to helping regenerate the Hendon Football Club site, to the south of the development lands in Claremont Road, which has lain dormant for years.

He said: “We are aware of the concerns and aware of the lack of community facilities at the moment and are willing to talk to the council and think of ways this could be addressed over the next year of two.”