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Government secretary Eric Pickles will not call in £4.5bn Brent Cross Cricklewood regeneration plans
THE Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government will not review the £4.5 billion Brent Cross Cricklewood regeneration scheme.
A letter to Barnet Council confirmed Tory MP Eric Pickles would not call in the controversial plans, despite huge opposition from residents, campaigners and environmental groups.
The decision leaves the way clear for developers to submit further plans for the project, which aims to create a new town centre for the borough.
The letter from the Government Office for London stated: “Having carefully considered these and other planning issues raised by the proposal, together with all representations received and having strong regard to his policy on call-in, it has been concluded that the Secretary of State's intervention would not be justified.
“The Secretary of State is satisfied that the planning issues identified above have been adequately addressed by the council and the application does not raise issues of more than local importance which would be more appropriately decided by him rather than the local planning authority.
“He has, therefore, concluded the application should be decided by Barnet Council.”
Mr Pickles did not decide whether the application should be granted planning permission, but whether or he should call it in for his own determination based on a range of policy matters.
The plans were initially approved by Barnet councillors during a two-day planning committee meeting last November.
Further backing was given in March by Mayor of London Boris Johnson, who believed the scheme would “boost the capital's economic growth” and bring “new vitality to a part of the capital in need of regeneration”.
Members of the Coalition for a Sustainable Brent Cross Cricklewood Plan handed a 5,000-strong petition to the previous Secretary of State, John Denham, ahead of the General Election, hoping the scheme would be called in for review at a higher level.
They believe the scheme is unsustainable and inappropriate for the area and will cause dangerously increased traffic levels.
Developers plan to create 7,500 homes, 27,000 jobs, three schools and invest large amounts in transport infrastructure.
The letter said it would be the council's responsibility to assess the environmental impact.
It said: “In considering whether to exercise his discretion to call in this application, the Secretary of State has not considered the adequacy of the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) produced in support of this application.
“The local planning authority responsible for determining this application remains the relevant authority for ensuring the requirements of the Town and Country Planning (EIA) (England and Wales) Regulations 1999 are complied with.”