Click above for what became the consented plan, plus Transport page.


Alison Hopkins, Liberal Democrat Councillor for Dollis Hill Ward

"I, along with many others, attended the Planning Committee meeting at Barnet Council on 30 January. All but two of us spoke against various aspects of the plans – the only two in favour were the manager of the shopping centre, and the developer, Jonathan Joseph!

"A vote was taken – the Barnet Lib Dem councillors voted against, but that wasn’t enough, the plans still got passed. However, this isn’t the end of the fight. We can and will object to further details of the proposals and we’re also looking at possible legal action. We want the certainty that the dump won’t happen, ever and we don’t want massive extra numbers of cars on our roads."

Here’s the speech I gave:
"I am Alison Hopkins, ward councillor for Dollis Hill in Brent, which immediately borders the site of the so-called Brent Cross Regeneration. I am proud to be a founder member of the Coalition for a Sustainable Brent Cross Cricklewood, which has fought these disastrous proposals for many years. We support sustainable real regeneration, not car-centric plans which only serve to camouflage the true goal of doubling the size of an out-of-town shopping centre. I well remember the damage caused to local shopping centres when Brent Cross opened in 1976.

"At the meeting of this committee that passed these plans in 2009, a Barnet officer stated that Brent supported the plans, despite this not being the case. I would like it minuted that the London Borough of Brent still opposes the plans and has written to Barnet stating this most recently on 16th January 2014. I therefore wish it made absolutely clear that Brent Council does NOT support these plans.

"Others will speak on many aspects of the proposals. I wish to concentrate on the road layout proposals and the dump and incinerator – that is those areas that directly affect the London Borough of Brent.

"My grounds for objection are substantially unchanged, as the plans are substantially unchanged. They bring massive extra amounts of traffic onto Brent roads with 'revised' layouts that are wholly unacceptable and injurious to my ward and the wider Brent area. I looked back at the speech made on my behalf in 2009 and it could almost be read again, as there is so little real change and no improvement at all. I said then that 'depending on whom you believe, it’s either 29,000 or 10,000 extra cars every day. I remember the traffic chaos when Brent Cross first opened: the reality is likely to be higher than projected.' I said then and repeat now that modal shift to 70% public transport in the context of the demographic that uses Brent Cross is unrealistic.

"The waste handling facility – that euphemism for a massive rubbish dump – at Geron Way is still in the plans, despite the developers’ assurances that it will 'not happen' and the NLWA having changed their business plan so that it is 'no longer required'. The incinerator with its 140 metre high chimney at Staples Corner is also still shown, again despite the developers’ assurances that it will 'not happen'. They have refused to remove both these unacceptable structures, 'just in case plans change'. I object, strongly, to the WHF and incinerator remaining in the plans. If ever built, the dump would cause significant airborne and noise pollution, generated by the turbines, trucks, trains and cranes at the dump, all working 24/7. The current Barnet waste facility is located away from houses and schools, and has easy direct access onto the A406/M1 junction with no impact on residents. The incinerator’s emissions would present real dangers to a wide swathe of Brent, and for that matter, Barnet.

"Any increase in traffic on Dollis Hill Lane or, indeed, any other side road in Dollis Hill is wholly unacceptable. Dollis Hill Lane is already plagued with speeding cars and illegally accessing HGVs. Indeed, I am working with our highways department to ensure a properly enforced lorry ban and 20 mph speed limit. This area is almost wholly residential and this is not acceptable. Oxgate Gardens suffers similar problems and the proposed road layouts mean both these roads, and Humber Road would become rat runs, even more so than at present. The proposal to close Oxgate Gardens completely at the A5 end would divert traffic to Dollis Hill Lane and cause huge inconvenience and nuisance to those who actually live in Dollis Hill.

"The proposal to make Humber Road the first right turn off the Edgware Road is not acceptable. It is the narrowest road off the A5. The new road layout is also contingent on Geron Way being re-routed. This is part of the WHF development, which, as I say, is now supposedly unlikely. That re-routing can also only happen if Barnet are able to CPO the Bestway site. I am sure that Bestway can, and will, resist this, and have the money, willpower and determination to do so. The developers have said that the Humber Road/Geron Way layout is dotted line, and provisional. It is dependent on the Bestway site being obtained, and the WHF being built. I have already referred to the developers claim that this is unlikely, but this places huge uncertainty on the area.

"As to the traffic figures, they are indeed wholly inaccurate and inadequate. This has been pointed out on numerous occasions to the developers and to Barnet. For example, they show no cars turning left into Humber Road in the peak hours, which is patently nonsense. Other flows are similarly wrong elsewhere in the area. No updated traffic flow data has been provided to Brent, despite repeated requests, and the much mooted A5 corridor study seems to be rather elusive.

"As matters stand, I maintain my strong objection to the plans on the grounds stated above in addition to other previously stated objections. I’ve lived in Dollis Hill all my life and represent thousands impacted by these plans. The anger at these damaging, ill-thought-out proposals is greater than anything I’ve ever seen. However, let me end on a perhaps at least a partial solution to allow some progress to be made. Barnet Council may find the path forward made easier by formally removing ALL planned development west of the railway (including access roads and pathways) and the incinerator planned for the east side. Failure to implement this will only delay the development even further."

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