Thursday 29 November 2018

'Brent is stealing our Bridge Park is part of our Black Heritage'

A legal battle is on between Brent Council and the Afro-Caribbean community of Stonebridge, Harlesden and Monks Park over the future of Bridge Park.  The centre is part of a Council redevelopment project that includes the long-empty Unisys building.  It is much more than a legal battle - it is a battle for the beating heart of the local community.

Wembley Matters has covered the dodgy nature of some of Brent Council's partners in their development scheme and this was reinforced by trenchant criticism of the Council by the late Dan Filson. LINK  LINK

Young visionaries in what was then a bus depot

Bridge Park was set up by young black people in the 80s at a time of the uprisings. It is part of black heritage in the borough that came from the grassroots, just as the Stonebridge Adventure Playground, closed by the council, also had its roots in the community and amongst the young.

A community group, Bridge Park Community Council, set up to save the centre from the council plans have put forward their own alternative which is rooted in the community and continues the original ethos of Bridge Park when the Harlesden People's Community Council organised to purchase the old bus depot:

BPCC successfully appealed to the Land Registry over the sale of the land and it was blocked  but now the council is fighting back through legal action.

A fundraising campaign is now underway to take the council on: LINK
and there is a petition of to stop the sale and return control and development of the Bridge Park site to the community HERE

BPCC's short-term plan is:

(a) To show the “London Borough of Brent” that we have an interest in the land, and to therefore suspend the sale of the Land and property referred to as “Bridge Park Community Leisure Centre”.
(b) To secure the Community interest in the Land and property by means of legal, public and political action.
(c) To develop a self-sustaining Centre of Excellence providing educational, Technology, social, well-being and commercial facilities.
(d) To encourage Brent Council and all parties to engage with BPCC in peaceful timely negotiation (ADR), Mediation or Arbitration as opposed to costly litigation with a view of coming to an agreement in relation to the Community’s control and interest in the said Land and Property.


                   WE NEED YOU...!!!!



Bridge Park Community Council as successor to HPCC established Bridge Park Complex Steering Group, to protect the interest, control and development of the Bridge Park Land and Properties for the community. 

In the 1980s, HPCC, founded by a group of young 16-20 year olds, who followed their vision and desire to serve the community, and to ensure that the young men and women growing up in Stonebridge, N.W London had facilities and opportunities to empower them to succeed.  They bought the land supported by sourced grant funding of £1.8m. 

They raised a further £3m+ along backing to design and build the current Bridge Park Complex seen today. The original vision was for the creation of educational, commercial business units, sports and multi-purpose facilities.  The land is estimated to be worth over £50 million on the open market.

In order for HPCC to obtain the funds, Brent Council acted as custodians ONLY: with no right to sell, transfer or dispose of the land, acquired by the community for the community. The Bridge Park site had a protective covenant on the land.  Brent Council officers removed the covenant prior to February 2014.  The community were not informed. [Wembley Matters here is the LINK to the report to the Brent Executive in June 2013 which states: The Bridge Park site had a covenant on it that sports and community uses should be protected and around half of any value of any development would have to paid to the LB Bromley (as successor body to the GLC). However officers have successfully re moved this covenant.]

Experienced Lawyers, (DWFM Beckman, London) have been engaged, and advice has been taken from a Senior Counsel, specialising in this area of Law and Chancery.

*Brent Council entered into the Conditional Land Sale Agreement with General Mediterranean Holding (GMH) as guarantor, for the sale of the Bridge Park Complex in June 2017.  A strict condition of the sale is that the land must be free of all interests. Brent Council plan to allow development worth over £800 million on the land, but aim to sell off the Land and 42x Business Units, 2x restaurants, Bar, 2x Gyms, full size In-door Basketball and Badmintons Courts, plus Multi-faith centre and Nursery buildings all this for less than £13 million Brent  will not fully disclose the lower price. THIS DID NOT GO TO TENDER !!!

HPCC in association with successor's BPCC Steering Group and S.C. Trust (HPCC) Ltd the land.

An application to the Land Registry to restrict Brent Council, to stop the Sale of Bridge Park was made in August 2017, through our lawyers.

Brent Council have been given an extension of 30 days to file their documents to challenge this restriction.


Our community needs a lot more than a Gym & Swimming Pool.

We will build an iconic Centre of Excellence  for The Community by The Community. Addressing our Educational, Social and Commercial needs. And most of all it will be self funded and sustained.

A land mark building upon which we can take pride in.

Come and get involved - Sign the petition against Brent Council's plans

WE NEED  our community building to be kept in the hands of the COMMUNITY in PERPETUITY!!

Help us to raise the much needed funds for the legal challenge to halt the sale of Bridge Park.


Details of BPCC's vision can be seen on their website HERE  

The officers' report to the Brent Executive in June 2013 stated:

Our officers have carried out a new Equality Analysis. There are a number of important conclusions. The first is that Bridge Park has been important in serving an important part of Brent’s Afro-Caribbean community. Removing the sports centre would strongly negatively impact on this group. The area has one of the strongest increase in under 5’s in the whole of Brent. Over 88,000 of the 447,000 people within a three mile catchment of the centre are under 16 years of age (20% compared with a borough average of 16%). The starter business units that would not be replaced do have a high proportion of people from Afro-caribbean background.


Shezan Renny said...

Activists in Camden would like to support this campaign. I wish to share this article (as well as other related articles and videos) to I will clearly acknowledge all sources.

Martin Francis said...

Yes that's fine with me. An acknowledgement and link would be good.

Unknown said...

Dis mo'...STOP...ah-wick'dnezz !!!