Coalition Condemns Barnet’s Approval of Brent Cross Plans
THE Coalition for a Sustainable Brent Cross Cricklewood Plan deplores yesterday’s decision by a single unelected official at Barnet Council to approve the fundamentally-flawed planning application.
In terms of attracting private capital, this is an example of a "race to the bottom" by the Council – to get any sort of investment, come what may, and without serious consideration of the quality of the proposals.
Having lost £27 million in the Icelandic banks fiasco [Dec 2011: most money recovered?], and with its 'easyCouncil' approach failing to balance the books [Dec 2011: no comment!], it is not surprising that the Council has swallowed the developers' claims that it will “bring unprecedented investment into Barnet”. This controversial scheme is based on last-century assumptions about housing, transport and mega-shopping centres.
With capacity for additional retail space in London already under intense scrutiny, why double the Brent Cross shopping centre – causing further devastation of local high streets across north and west London?
The Coalition will continue to fight the plans, building by building, to try and ensure that a sustainable scheme – and one that the local community wants – is put in its place. If the developers truly wish for “meaningful engagement” with local residents, then it’s about time – it has been conspicuous by its total absence for many years.
Lia Colacicco, Co-ordinator, Coalition for a Sustainable Brent Cross Cricklewood Plan
(1) The “Coalition for a Sustainable Brent Cross Cricklewood Plan” comprises twelve residents’ associations plus the Federation of Residents’ Associations in Barnet (representing the 12 largest residents’ associations in Barnet), Brent Cyclists, the North West London Light Railway (NWLLR) group, Brent Friends of the Earth (FoE), Barnet & Enfield FoE, Camden FoE, Sarah Teather (MP for Brent Central), Dawn Butler, (former MP for Brent South), Labour and LibDem Councillors from Brent and Camden, Navin Shah (London Assembly Member for Brent and Harrow), Darren Johnson (London Assembly Member), Jean Lambert (London MEP), Brent Green Party, Barnet Green Party, Alexis Rowell, (former Chair of Camden Sustainability Taskforce), Brent and Barnet Trades Union Councils, and Bestway Group.
(2) The press have previously used a very glamorous artist’s impression of the development by night - in the interest of balance, please consider using this graphic, also by the developers. It is from the planning application, and shows the high-rise density of the scheme.