The Coalition for a Sustainable Brent Cross Cricklewood development is celebrating the shock news that the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Eric Pickles, has issued an Article 25 so-called “stop notice” preventing Barnet council from granting planning permission, entering into any agreement or passing any resolution that could influence the site’s planning status without ministerial authorisation.
Coalition co-ordinator Lia Colacicco said:
I had to pinch myself when I saw the email. Since 2010 the presumption has been to pass everything, so this was a welcome surprise. Many of us wrote to Eric Pickles asking him to call in BXC for a public inquiry given its impact for miles around– and our MP Sarah Teather and Muhammed Butt, Leader of Brent Council, also wrote regarding the disbenefits to Brent which have been ignored. We mentioned irregularities in the process, public transport, TfL’s objections, the loss of Cricklewood’s only green space and other green spaces in the wider area, and the selective use of transport assessments. But above all the impact on the surrounding areas, particularly the 29,000 extra cars a day.We deplore the loss of the promised street layout in this new 'town centre', and its last-minute replacement by a bog-standard indoor shopping centre. We also are horrified by the 'secret' new basement voids, that can be quietly turned over to yet another three layers of car parking.We have been calling this a dinosaur development because it was conceived in the 1990s - and it shows. There is nothing exciting, visionary or futuristic about it, only basic sustainability measures – just the highest density most profitable option. North Londoners deserve something exceptional. This is a huge victory for us and our dream of a public inquiry is one step closer.
The group are now hoping that the Secretary of State will reject the recent amendments and call a Public Inquiry. The group is at pains to point out that they are pro regeneration, and pro new homes but against the recent amendments and the missed opportunity to spend some of the £200m planning gain money on better public transport, including possibly light-rail (trams or DLR) for the area.
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. Plus several councillors.