Sunday, 8 December 2013

Greens condemn 'greenwash' in Brent Cross development plans

The proposals for the redevelopment of Brent Cross seem to have been going on since the turn of the century. Like many recent developments it is just over the border from Brent and has received opposition from Kilburn, Dollis Hill and Cricklewood residents.

This is the Barnet Green Party's submission:

Barnet Council is currently considering a massive planning application for the Brent Cross Cricklewood redevelopment, including a huge extension to the shopping centre and a whole new residential town.

Barnet Greens say the BXC plans are full of utter ‘greenwash’, seeking to create a false impression about the environmental sustainability of this multi-billion pound project.

Here are the main objections we have submitted to the council:

1.These plans must be suspended until the development partners pledge to make the whole site carbon neutral and set out measures they will take to achieve that target. Sainsbury’s has already opened its first carbon neutral store (bit.ly/1bjnRQG) and plans to open more, showing that the technologies are available to make the Brent Cross shopping centre and the housing developments completely carbon neutral or carbon positive.

The proposed buildings are likely to exist for several decades at least and there is no way whatsoever that the British government will achieve its aim of a 60 per cent cut in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 if concrete giants like the Brent Cross shopping centre are still belching out carbon dioxide from heating, lighting and air conditioning.

This scheme is an ideal opportunity to install energy conservation measures and sustainable power facilities right from the beginning. There is plenty of scope on the site for enough wind turbines, solar arrays and ground source heat pumps to make the whole area carbon positive, never mind carbon neutral.

So why aren’t they doing it? As well as benefitting the environment, carbon neutrality would save money for the people who live in the new town and for the businesses, as their energy bills would be much lower – they might even make money by feeding electricity back into the grid.

Can it be that the developers are more interested in building cheaply than in saving on running costs for the future occupants of the homes and commercial buildings?

2. At a time when neighbourhood shopping areas are under threat all over London from post office closure, cut backs to libraries and the marginal viability of many small shops and pubs, Barnet Council should be making a broader study, paid for by the developers, of the likely impact of Brent Cross Cricklewood on other shopping areas in the borough.

The scheme is not just about new housing and a so-called town centre, the whole thing is based on “an expanded and improved shopping centre”, with an “enhanced retail offer including new stores at Brent Cross Shopping Centre”, to cite the developers’ own documents.

3.When the council has assessed the likely impact, it should order the developers to pay whatever it costs to ensure the sustainability of Hendon, Golders Green and the other nearby centres: better street layouts, improved public transport, more greenery, more public toilets, more benches to rest on or whatever it takes to ensure that these neighbourhood areas remain available and attractive for local residents to use.
4. As for the transport issues surrounding the new plans, of course there should be a direct rail link to the expanded shopping centre rather than more car parking. The developers say they expect cars still to be the main way that people get there but why is that? People will no doubt continue to want to shop at Brent Cross but why should they necessarily go by car? Do people mostly go to Oxford Street or Westfield shopping centres by car? Of course not, because they are properly served by London Underground lines and by buses.

The Brent Cross Cricklewood developers should be instructed to provide attractive and adequate Tube/train/tram, bus, cycle and pedestrian links for there to be a likelihood of far fewer than the projected extra 29,000 car journeys per day in the area.

5.The Clitterhouse Farm buildings should be saved. Preserving them would only require minor alterations to the overall plan.

6. If waste treatment facilities are to remain part of the plan, it should be specified that the priority should be sustainable systems such as anaerobic digestion and/or other systems from the growing range of alternative technologies.

7. It should be specified that no waste incineration should take place at the Geron Way cite. A new waste plan is under consideration for North London and it would be simple and cost-free for the designers of that plan to omit any proposal for incineration at Geron Way. This would in any case match the practicalities of the site, given the current objections by Bestway and others.

Check out the plans for yourself  HERE 
    


1 comment:

  1. This May Be Off Track But I Think It Is Valid Because It Is Regarding Storm Drains That Have Been Allowed To Become Clogged up with Dust,Leaves, Paper, Food Wrappers and Cigarette Butts.
    I Think That Is Unacceptable especially Since We Pay Council Tax In Order To Fund The Services That Deal With Drain Clearing for example.
    and so We Pay The Tax But The Service We Are Paying For doesn't Appear To Carried Out To a High Standard.
    So What Is The Point In Paying This Tax and Street Drains Are Left Blocked Solid?
    If We Are Unemployed and Claiming Benefit and Fail To Try Our Best To Get a Job and Fail To Observe The Strict Rules We are Sanctioned and Our Benefit is stopped as a punishment and I guess as a wake up call as well.
    But Councils are allowed to do whatever they want or at least that is the impression I get.
    This Not acceptable.
    if I pay rent I am obliged to have a place to live in
    why do we pay council tax and the work is not done?
    the blocked drains I saw are outside poundland on wembley high road opposite London Road
    and it looks bad.
    if there was a Storm there would be no where for the water to go and again that is not acceptable.
    What is Going On?
    it is as if there is one Law the Public and another for the councils?
    Either Way The Work BC is Doing is highly Questionable and No Way Does Mr Butt Any Valid Grounds For Boasting.
    He Should Be ashamed in my Opinion.

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