ANGRY protesters have vowed to keep up the fight against the plans for Brent Cross Cricklewood regeneration despite yet another setback last night.

Barnet Council's planning committee reaffirmed their decision in November to pass the £4.5bn scheme, to create a new town centre, at Hendon Town Hall last night.

Councillors were asked to vote again on the plans because the original approval had expired, after being held up by the Mayor of London's office and the Government Department for London.

In the plans put before councillors several matters of detail have up to seven years to be decided upon, with up to seven years for work to get underway.

The head of planning Martin Cowie also has the power to approve the Section 106 planning agreement, which determines how much will be spent on community projects.

David Howard, the chairman of the Federation of Residents Associations Barnet, spoke out against the plans he described as being “rushed through”.

He added: “I am here to express regret and deep concern that this report is before you tonight in its current format.

“The scheme will take over 20 years to construct and will not only destroy the existing local communities, but will have a major negative impact over the whole of the north London region.”

He criticised the current Section 106 draft, which runs to hundreds of pages, only being put online 13 days before the meeting and asked why I was being passed now rather than delayed.

Railway Terrace resident Lesley Turner also raised issues over the speed with which the plans had been put to committee again, urging them not to delegate powers to officers in the project, saying “defer or be damned”.

Justin Mills spoke on behalf of cash and carry store Bestway who are threatened with being relocated if the plans are successful.

He said the present retail plan was open to challenge and review and accused officers in the planning department of “misinterpreting” new government legislation on developments.

However, Jonathan Joseph, of the Brent Cross Cricklewood Partners, highlighted the positive aspects of the plans, including a new station, 7,500 new homes, a new town centre and rebuilding three local schools.

He added: “It will generally improve the economy and provide countless jobs and thousands of home for local people.

“It will provide a new town centre so Cricklewood is not cut off from its surroundings.”

Councillor Jack Cohen, a Lib Dem member for Childs Hill, which is affected by the plans, was the only councillor to vote against the proposals.

He told the meeting: “I have experience of these large planning applications. The minor changes are very difficult to track and it puts me personally in a very difficult position where I don't know exactly what I'm voting for.

“Experience tells me when these things start getting off the ground you look back you didn't think you hadn't voted for that.”