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


Just Space: "Vision for the next London Plan"

Link to web site

"The Just Space network of community groups and London-wide organisations works to influence London’s strategic planning document, The London Plan, and today issues a set of 'key demands' which will form the basis of more detailed Community Visions for the next London Plan

"... Just Space Co-ordinator, Richard Lee said:
"While the Mayor's staff are preparing their new version of London's strategic planning document that will affect the lives of all Londoners, Just Space groups have seized the initiative and are putting forward ideas of what local people want to see included.

For too long, London’s planning system has failed to deliver for Londoners on issues such as air pollution and inequalities, has not developed a rounded economy, and has failed to tackle the affordable housing crisis. Local people are demanding a better future for London and all Londoners."

Hammerson and Standard Life: Thirteen years on from the still-current masterplan, five years on from the outline planning consent: The Brent Cross Cricklewood Fairy Tale


Hammerson's "£1bn Westfield scheme is running late with a 2020 vision"

Link to Inside Croydon

"The £1 billion shopping supermall, which multi-national developers and Croydon’s biggest land-owners have been promising to deliver on the site of the run-down Whitgift Centre, won’t now be open for business for more than five years.

"The delay in development was announced this week by a senior council official, and has been confirmed by a spokesman for the developers.

"... One of the reasons for the slowing of pace towards the development is the complicated and complex CPO. The Croydon CPO – Compulsory Purchase Order – will see our local authority buy up a 7-hectare town centre site, mainly the Whitgift Centre, to enable the developers to implement their scheme of retail, offices and 'luxury' apartments.

"The Westfield/Hammerson plans for the development include 136,500 sq m of retail space, 16,400 sq m of leisure facilities and 1,900 sq m of offices."


Coming to the eastern side of Barnet: Crossrail 2

Transport for London has just announced
new public consultation over Crossrail 2.

This is the Euston-St Pancras station, with two entrances:


Railway Gazette: "Thameslink Class 700 testing to begin soon [to Cricklewood, corrupt Brent Cross, Hendon and Mill Hill Broadway]"

Link to web site

"Siemens has now produced more than 380 of the 1 140 bodyshells for the Thameslink Class 700 Desiro City electric multiple-unit fleet at its Krefeld plant in Germany, with two eight-car Class 700/0 and 10 12-car Class 700/1 EMUs now completed.

"Two 12-car units have been delivered to the UK and are undergoing testing at the new depot in Three Bridges, which was officially opened on October 15.

"Siemens engineers are hoping to be able to undertake the first mainline test runs by the end of October, although the delivery programme does not actually require this until Christmas."


BRENT CROSS: Astonishing Pro-Cycling Turnabout by LB of Barnet and the Cuddly, Misunderstood People at Hammerson

"Here we present our final - and most informative - Streetfilm from Amsterdam. It provides a nice cross-section of commentary on life in the City of Bikes. If you'd like to skip directly to a certain section, use this table of contents:
0:17: Rejecting the Automobile
2:15: A bike system that works for everyone
4:05: There's a science to what looks like 'bicycle chaos'
5:55: Coming to The Netherlands from the United States
7:33: Dutch Bicycle Culture.
"Make sure you check out our other Streetfilms from Amsterdam: No Amsterdam is Not 'Swamped' By Bikes, Amsterdam Draws Bike Boxes to Organize Bike Parking, and Some Things You Might See While In Amsterdam.

"I still find it amazing that a five-year-old in Amsterdam can ride straighter and with more confidence than the average American adult!"


The Guardian: "Bike lane blues in Enfield: why don’t businesses want a £30m cycle-friendly upgrade?"

"A London borough plans to turn four traffic-filled roads into Dutch-style streets which are safer for bikes and pedestrians. Many shops and residents are up in arms, despite growing evidence the project will benefit the local economy. Why?"

Link to web site

"As cars stream past on both sides, a pedestrian perches on a tiny traffic island waiting for an opportunity to cross. A cyclist dodges round a 10-tonne lorry, held up by a driver trying to reverse into a tight parking space outside a high-street shop. Angry horns blare.

"It's intimidating to be on foot or a bike in a space dominated by motor vehicles. In that sense, this suburban street in north London is like many of the radial roads that flow in and out of cities the world over – not a particularly pleasant place to be.

"This road, though, has been given an opportunity to change. Transport for London has awarded the local authority, Enfield, £30 million from its 'Mini Holland' budget to transform four busy streets into routes with Dutch-inspired segregated bike lanes, where people feel safe to cycle and want to spend more time. Under the plans, Green Lanes is to get lightly segregated bike lanes running along both sides of the road; there will be six more zebra crossings for pedestrians; a bleak under-used public space will be remodelled with community involvement; pavements will be resurfaced; there will be more trees, more planters … Local residents and high street businesses must be thrilled?"

Independent Transport Commission: "On the Move: Exploring attitudes to road and rail travel in Britain"

"... On the issue of modal choice, the findings are striking in demonstrating that economic factors still remain a strong determinant of travel choice, with younger people especially concerned about the high cost of using a car relative to their income, including issues such as insurance, parking and learning to drive. The impact of concessionary and advance fares on public transport use is also an important driver, especially for younger people and pensioners. At the same time, location appears to be a key determinant for modal choice, due to the poor provision of public transport in rural areas. This is particularly the case with older people in rural areas who feel that they need to retain a car in order to preserve their independence.

"Modal choice also varies significantly across the different groups. The research demonstrates that young people are ‘falling out of love’ with the car, and place greater weight on alternative consumer products, while older people see the car as an important part of their lifestyle. At the same time, improvements in the accessibility of the public transport system are encouraging car owners to make more varied modal choices.

"... At the core of this research has been the desire to understand whether these attitudes are temporary or permanent features affecting travel behaviour. By comparing different age groups, it has been possible to see that there remain ‘tipping points’ in peoples’ lives at which point modal choice shifts. Such tipping points include starting a family, now more common in one’s 30s, at which point car ownership becomes more desirable; and also retirement, which often results in downsizing from a two to one car household.

"In spite of these factors, it is evident that across all groups we are seeing a rise in utilitarian attitudes towards car travel, which indicates that car ownership is likely to increasingly shift towards new forms of car access, such as car hire and car clubs. An equally significant factor pointing towards more permanent changes in attitudes is the way in which use of public transport modes when young increases the likelihood of continuing to use these later in life."


Sat 3 Oct: The Clitterhouse Farm Project: FILMS AT THE FARM

Link to web site

"THE CLITTERHOUSE FARM PROJECT are holding our second night of FREE cinema outside the front of Clitterhouse Farm in Clitterhouse Playing Fields, Cricklewood, NW2 on the 3rd October 2015.

"Many thanks to everyone who came to our first night on the 26th September for the screening of the Blues Brothers. It was a wonderful event and we hope you all enjoyed it."


Saturday 3rd October - 7pm

Grow Your Own (2007)

Navin Shah AM: "Outer London: Understanding ‘The Doughnut’"

"Boris Johnson's refusal to face up to the housing crisis has allowed it to spill into the outer boroughs"

Link to web site

"It is now received wisdom that Outer London won Boris Johnson the mayoralty in 2008, and also comfortably delivered his second term.

"As a result, the issues facing Outer London are on the agenda in a way they were not previously with policies to win over the Outer London 'doughnut' sure to form a growing battleground.

"Yet despite his pledge to be a mayor for all zones, many of the changes promised to Outer London remain undelivered. There is no doubt that Outer London has been let down by Boris Johnson, who quickly fell into a 'central London first' focus.

"... The proposed Opportunity and Intensification Areas designed in Outer London to accommodate future economic growth are also doomed to fail if there is no strategic plan. The next mayor will need to have vision and focus to make regeneration projects like Brent Cross and Old Oak Common successful and relevant to Outer London Boroughs."


Barnet Times: "Cricklewood Festival highlights 'threat' to green space"

Link to web site

"MUSIC and dancing entertained the crowds at the annual Cricklewood Festival.

"Thousands of people turned out to enjoy all that the town has to offer last Sunday (September 20), which included a wide range of food stalls and musical performances from nearby schools.

"Campaigners also spent the day collecting signatures opposing development on the Cricklewood green space.

"Barnet council recently shelved plans to sell off the space for housing, after a furious backlash from residents and councillors."

Brent & Kilburn Times: "Developers unveil plans for multi-million pound business district in Wembley Park" (relying much more on public transport than Barnet's corrupt Brent Cross planning consent)

Link to web site

"Developers leading the multi-million pound transformation of land around Wembley stadium have unveiled plans for a series of high-rise office blocks aimed at drawing City workers and tech start-ups to the area.

"At a glitzy reception at the Hilton Sky Bar in Lakeside Way, developer Quintain revealed it is releasing 750,000 square feet of land to make way for four eight to nine storey blocks of dedicated office space.

"... Sarah O’Connell, Director of National Offices at Colliers International said:
"Wembley really does have everything in place to be the next King's Cross.

With everything already here, employees would have access to three stations, 76 shops and 20 restaurants, as well as a 9-screen cinema and the world famous sports stadium."


The Guardian: "London residents to bid for Mount Pleasant site to stop £1-billion development" (but then, they didn't suffer the corrupt Brent Cross planning consent, did they?)

Link to web site

"Local residents who were branded 'bourgeois nimbys' by London mayor Boris Johnson for opposing a £1-billion luxury apartment complex are set to try to seize control of the development and build their own community-approved housing.

A group of people living near the Royal Mail's Mount Pleasant sorting office have secured the backing of one of Britain’s biggest investors, Legal and General, and a major housing association to launch a joint bid for the land.

"The group is angry at the lack of affordable housing and 'fortress-like' design of the current proposal and is poised to battle against some of the world’s biggest property developers for control of the prime site, which is expected to fetch around £300m.

"... 'Too many schemes in recent years have focused on purely short-term profit,' said Nicholas Boys Smith, director of Create Streets, a social enterprise that has helped broker the bid. 'This is meant to redress that imbalance and better embed what people like and want in the built environment'."


BBC: "Why is the UK's housing benefit bill so high?"

Link to web site

"The UK currently spends billions of pounds a year on housing benefit. Paul Johnson, director of the Institute for Fiscal Studies, explains the history of the payments and how government funding for house-building has gradually moved into subsidies for rents, especially to private landlords.
What is housing benefit?
"It's a means-tested benefit paid to people on low incomes. For tenants in council or housing association properties it will usually cover their whole rent if they have no other income. For many of those in the private sector it will not pay the whole rent even if they have no other income. Housing benefit is withdrawn as income rises, but an increasing number of people in work claim at least some housing benefit.
Why do we have it?
"We don't have benefits explicitly to pay for any other item of spending - a clothes benefit, or a food benefit for example. But the level of rents is so variable around the country and between households that a special benefit to help pay rents has been in place since at least the 1930s. A form of housing benefit was part of Beveridge's prescription in his famous report. He referred to 'the problem of rent'."

[Reposted and expanded] Barnet gives planning permission for 5-storey building for this site, on the same planning application as a new John Lewis at Brent Cross, a MILE away! (The Banality of Corruption)

Link to 'Wembley Matters' web site

Agreement dated 30th January 1987 between Mayor of Barnet, Mayor of Brent, Charterhall Properties (Cricklewood) Ltd, and Erith Plc states:
The description of development refers to provision of 'new public conveniences, public footpaths, and area of public open space'.

Public Open Space is defined as 'the creation of a public open space on that part of the site show coloured yellow on the Plan, such open space to make substantial provision for tree and shrub planting within it and to be attractively landscaped and laid out to the satisfaction of the Council'.

Paragraph 4 b(iv) refers to the Council adopting the public open space after a defects period of 12 months, 'and thereupon the Public Open Space shall become a public open space maintainable at the public expense'.

Paragraphs 4 (d) and (e) refer to not building on the land with the sewer and accepting the strips of land with public footpaths respectively."

(2014 update: Next to the road has since been improved -
the rest of the land is still under threat)
Pic: Theo Simpson

Link to HOME (see all posts).


Barnet Times: "Parking charges to be introduced at Brent Cross Shopping Centre under redevelopment plans" (which were passed last night, but not without three contributors accusing Barnet of corruption)

Link to web site
[The shopping centre planning application
itself will not be submitted until 2016]

"SHOPPERS could start having to shell out money to pay to park at a shopping centre for the first time in nearly 40 years.

"Brent Cross Shopping Centre, in Prince Charles Drive, Hendon, has always proudly advertised the fact that it offers free parking for all customers.

"But under new plans, it will cost people £1 for up to two hours, £2 for three to four hours, £2.50 for four hours and £3.50 for five hours."

[Verily, reposted] "We are Brent Citizens Against the Planning Corruption of the London Borough of Barnet! We have been charged with a holy quest!"

Briefing on New Rail Services in Brent

This briefing gives details of:

  • the proposed "Crossrail-to-the-West-Coast-Main-Line" service through Wembley Central station
  • a new London Overground service across Brent to Hendon Thameslink station
  • possible light-rail / tram services.

When rail services are proposed, they have to be paid for. Brent has the Wembley Opportunity Area, but the main sources of possible subsidy come from:

  • Brent Cross Cricklewood (in Barnet) and
  • Old Oak Common (now controlled by the "Old Oak and Park Royal Development Corporation").


This is a £4.5-billion development, with a very long border with Brent, along the A5 Edgware Road.

There was a 1996 car-based scheme to expand the out-of-town shopping centre: HERE

John Prescott and the High Court both rejected this, and in 2002 Barnet instructed the shopping centre developers, including Hammerson, to devise a bigger "Brent Cross Cricklewood Masterplan".

This was just "top-down planning", and Barnet has never bothered with anything more democratic.

In 2005 Barnet produced "Supplementary Planning Guidance" for the London Plan, but it merely confirmed what was in the masterplan.

It predicted over 29,000 extra cars per day in the Brent Cross area!

Comments were submitted to reopen the Dudding Hill Freight Line that runs across Brent (from Acton, via Harlesden, Neasden and Gladstone Park). But these attempts were thrown out, because "the railway wasn't in Barnet".

A Brent Cross Cricklewood planning application was submitted in 2008.

Campaigners proposed a "North and West London Light Railway" with phase one at Brent Cross, instead of all the extra cars: Three pages in PDF file HERE (be patient for it to download)

LB of Brent also produced a map of possible light-rail across Brent and to Wembley, Green dashed lines HERE

Hammerson wrote to the transport campaigners that it would only "investigate light-rail" if they signed an undertaking not to oppose the planning application! This was refused.

Barnet passed the application through committee in November 2009, although only after a Barnet officer lied that Brent did not object to the plan. (A robust exchange of letters followed.)

Barnet announced there would be an "A5 Corridor Study" - of various transport studies across Barnet, Brent and Camden - to placate opposition. This seems to have been downgraded by Barnet, into a minor planning condition, by a year later when formal consent was given.

The Brent Cross plan was "refreshed" in 2014, dropping most of the Section 106 promises.

Note that it still includes a 300,000 tonne-per-year waste incinerator next to Dollis Hill, and a 5-storey building on the only green space in Cricklewood's town centre, next to B&Q.

Only the chief whip of Barnet Tories spoke at the 2014 meeting. He said Brent Cross shopping centre was looking "tired". Everything else was still in the same planning application, including Cricklewood Lane over a mile away.

Brent Cross continues as a car-based development, just as in 1996.

LB of Brent is objecting to the latest version of the "A5 Corridor Study".

LB of Barnet only models Brent's road junctions if they are "not quite at saturation level" (that is, below 90%). Above that, the extra congestion - at already clogged junctions - is apparently not Barnet's concern, even though the junctions will get Brent Cross traffic.


The High Speed Two and Crossrail station at Old Oak Common is a game-changer.

It is very near the route of the original light-rail proposal, but offers two new rail services across Brent - a branch of Crossrail to the West Coast Main Line (stopping at Wembley Central and Harrow & Wealdstone) and a new London Overground service on the Dudding Hill Line (to Brent Cross and Hendon or Mill Hill Broadway).

Transport for London plans are shown HERE and HERE

A "Harlesden Town Team" map of the area (take plenty of time to study it!) is shown HERE


There are various routes across Park Royal that this might take.

One possibility (the cheapest) is to follow the Dudding Hill Line as far as Harlesden, probably with extra parallel tracks, and then turn towards Wembley.

Other possibilities allow an extra Crossrail station within Park Royal, maybe near Central Middlesex Hospital.

There could be as many as eight Crossrail trains an hour stopping at Wembley Central,

In fact any smaller number and possibly NO trains would stop. This is because the platforms there are very narrow, and it is not feasible for staff to open the platform each time a fast through-train has gone by.

For safety, either all stop or none stop.

This plan has been downgraded recently, because Euston station will now be redeveloped in three phases, and there is less need to divert trains a different way. However, the benefits of Crossrail to Brent are clear - and need lobbying!


Of course, the North London Line already runs across Brent, but the new service would be further out, and act as a "North Circular Road bypass".

Trains might run from Hounslow, on another new service.

They would stop at Old Oak Common at a new station, to interchange with the North London Line, HS2 and Crossrail, then use the Dudding Hill Line towards Hendon Thameslink station.

This is likely to be a four-trains-per-hour service.

The studies so far show a good economic case for this new Brent route. The line would need to be electrified, and freight trains would also benefit. Again, lobbying will help!


To be realistic, the above schemes - Crossrail and London Overground - are the main targets to aim for.

Nevertheless, car-based Brent Cross (and Colindale) still needs a tram system, and a separate system has been suggested at Old Oak Common, towards Kensal Canalside and Westbourne Park.

There is also the possibility of personal rapid transit pods, as in use at Heathrow Airport, shown HERE

However, no-one has introduced such a system across a wide area, and it might cost general users too much - perhaps like Boris's ill-fated dangleway across the Thames in east London.

So then:
  • Lobby for Brent's new Crossrail and London Overground services.
  • Despise the Brent Cross congestion (by opposing LB of Barnet's scheme).
  • Hope for better planning at Old Oak Common.


The Guardian: "Metroland, 100 years on: what's become of England’s original vision of suburbia?"

"In 1915, the Metropolitan Railway coined the term Metroland to describe a band of countryside just north-west of London, marketed as a land of idyllic cottages and wild flowers. But amid claims of overcrowding and a sea of ubiquitous semis, how does Metroland’s 21st-century reality compare with the original dream?"

Link to web site

"Planners, architects and builders are not the only ones who create cities. The suburban landscape of north-west London owes its existence, largely, to the imagination of the Metropolitan Railway's marketing department.

"One hundred years ago, in the summer of 1915, the railway’s publicity people devised the term 'Metroland' to describe the catchment area of villages stretching from Neasden into the Chiltern Hills. The railway had bought up huge tracts of farmland along this corridor in the decades before the first world war, and it was ripe for development. All they needed was a sales pitch.

"The first Metroland booklets were filled with illustrations of idyllic cottages and dainty verses about 'a land where the wild flowers grow'. A semi-rural arcadia was offered to Londoners sick of crowded conditions in the city. The campaign proved a roaring success. After the war, the white-collar workers who sought space and greenery flocked to the north-west of the city."


[Reposted from March 2010 - it's happened again in March 2014!] Coalition Pleased that Government Stalls Plans

Press release:

The Coalition for a Sustainable Brent Cross Cricklewood Plan are celebrating their biggest victory since they formed in September 2009.

Yesterday, the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government issued a ‘stop notice’ under Article 14 of the Town and Country Planning Order 1995, saying:
The SoS hereby directs Barnet Council not to grant planning permission on this application without specific authorisation.

Boris Johnson had passed the plans on Friday, and the stop notice means that John Denham now has more time to decide whether to call in the development for a public inquiry. The Coalition believes the development fulfils every criterion for a call-in.

Coalition Co-ordinator Lia Colacicco was excited:
Hopefully the Secretary of State’s next move is to call a public inquiry immediately so that these disastrous plans can undergo full public scrutiny.

We were hoping that John Denham would stop this dinosaur of a development. He has much broader powers than the Mayor: it could be called in on several criteria, but in particular because its effects go far beyond the immediate area, local people don’t want it in this form, and because it is completely unsustainable in terms of traffic, housing, and the environment.

We are not surprised that John Denham has issued a ‘stop notice’. How would it look if this out-of-town development is allowed to go through with its incinerator and sub-standard housing, when by 2016 all other new housing will have to be carbon zero? We want an exciting and innovative place, built around people and public transport – including a local railway like the Docklands Light Railway. We need to use the latest green technology.
Darren Johnson, London Assembly member said:
There are better ways to spend £4.8bn if we want to revitalise this area. Londoners want less traffic, good local shops and more affordable homes, but the Mayor has rubberstamped a development that will bring the exact opposite to the area: another 29,000 cars, a threat to other neighbourhood shopping areas and one of the lowest affordable homes targets in London.
David Howard, Federation of Residents Associations in Barnet added:
The timing is interesting. The scheme may now struggle. Its greatest advocate in Barnet, Mike ‘easy council’ Freer is hoping to move away from the Council into Parliament. Westfield's White City shopping centre is under-performing. Brent Cross developer Hammerson is getting cold feet about doubling the size of the shopping area, and is moving its attention to France. The housing market has collapsed and the Brent Cross model is out of date. No wonder the developers have only committed to phase one. We await with interest what happens next.

Notes to Editors

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 East), Dawn Butler (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, Cllr Alexis Rowell (Chair of Camden Sustainability Taskforce), Barnet Trades Council (TUC) and Bestway Group.

2. The petition to call the development in for a public inquiry is available at: http://www.petition.co.uk/campaign_for_a_sustainable_brent_cross_cricklewood_development

3. The Coalition blog is at http://www.brentcrosscoalition.blogspot.com/

4. Facts about Brent Cross and the Coalition are at
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brent_Cross and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coalition_for_a_Sustainable_Brent_Cross_Cricklewood

[Reposted from Mar 2014] Barnet Press (Brent Cross Cricklewood green spaces), and Barnet Times (Green Party Brent Cross letter)

Instead of attempting Consultation, Workshops and Debate, the LB of Barnet at Brent Cross went for Arrogance, Incompetence and Corruption



Fastcoexist: "A city known for some of the world's worst traffic jams is getting a radical pedestrian makeover"

Link to web site

"Dublin ranks just under Los Angeles for having some of the worst traffic jams in the world. The problem is predicted to get worse as the city quickly grows—somehow, it will have to squeeze in 20% more commuters over the next decade. That's why the city is now deciding to make a radical shift: It wants to ban cars from several major downtown streets.

"Right now, pedestrians don’t have it easy. 'Dublin has a compact city center, but we don't give enough priority to pedestrians or cyclists,' says CiarĂ¡n Cuffe, chair of the city council's transport committee. 'All too often those who walk are left waiting at crossings while cars whizz past for minutes on end.'

"In the proposed plan, the city wants to route cars around the city center, and turn major streets into car-free plazas and passages for buses, bikes, pedestrians, and a new tram line. Along the banks of the River Liffey, polluted roads will become promenades. On Grafton Street, a former car lane will turn into a tree-shaded terrace with cafe tables, while the other lane has tram tracks. New bike lanes and wider sidewalks will be added as well."

Change.org: "Save Cricklewood's only green space from five-storey development"

Link to web site   (pic: Anne Clarke)

"We are opposed to plans to build on the green space on Cricklewood Lane (outside B&Q) as part of the Brent Cross development BXC.

"We call for this ‘green island’ to be secured in perpetuity for residents of Cricklewood/NW2 area.

"It is outrageous that building on this green space has been quietly wrapped into a planning application for Brent Cross shopping centre more than a mile away, in order to get planning permission by stealth."


Saving Cricklewood's Green Space (against the corruption of the London Borough of Barnet)

(2013 poster)

Crown Moran Hotel (Sala Room),
142 - 152 Cricklewood Broadway,
Cricklewood, London NW2 3ED

WEDNESDAY, 15 JANUARY 2014 at 6.30pm
Chairman: Councillor Graham Old
Vice-Chairman: Councillor John Marshall

"Cricklewood Lane green space (adjacent to B&Q) This green space is a valuable community space in a densely built over environment. Recent ground works to establish what services are located where under the turf seem to indicate that Barnet is going to go ahead and build over this space. Rumours are that the Rosa Friedman Centre will be relocated here as a stage of the Brent Cross Development plan and together with other buildings, not specified, could mean this space being crowded out with buildings up to 5 storeys high. 

"This is outrageous. This land was ceded to the residents of Cricklewood as part of a section 106 planning gain when the B&Q building was constructed. How can Barnet now take this back to help them solve issues arising from the Brent Cross Development plan?"

"A number of local residents have commented on the Brent Cross Cricklewood Section 73 planning application objecting to the inclusion in the outline planning application of the space adjacent to the B&Q building on Cricklewood Lane. This area totals some 0.2 ha.

"The proposals in the Section 73 application currently under consideration remain unchanged for the uses and for the maximum and minimum heights for this site from the scheme permitted in 2010.

"However, it has been proposed to move this site from Phase 2 to Phase 1 as it is a site where the early provision of housing accommodation could potentially be achieved.

"This space is not designated within the Local Plan or approved planning application as open space although (as explained below) it was provided for use as public open space as part of the planning process leading to approval of the adjoining retail development and was transferred to the Council for that purpose.

"In the 2010 [corrupt] Permission, this site (Plot 58) was granted outline consent for retail or health uses on the ground floor and residential uses on the on the upper floors. It was programmed for delivery in Phase 2 of the development.

"This site had historically been subject to anti-social behaviour and a building was approved in this location under the outline consent as it was felt that there were urban design reasons for continuing the built frontage to this side of Cricklewood Lane. The building approved in outline under the 2010 Permission would provide a continuous active frontage to an area dominated at present by the blank side of the B & Q building.

"This area was provided as open space at the time of the construction of the present store (now B & Q) under the terms of a S52 agreement dated 30 January 1987 and was acquired from the Crown Commissioners by the Council in September 2004 with a restrictive covenant requiring it to be used as open space.

"Both of these restrictions are not unusual situations when comprehensively developing sites in existing urban areas such as town centres. Statutory powers under Section 237 of the Town and Country Planning Act would be used to override these restrictions at the implementation stage, if appropriate, in order to allow this part of the BXC development to be delivered.

"Since 2010 a number of community events have been held on this site, and there is now substantial local support to retain this area as open space. In response to this, proposals are also advanced to widen the paved area and plant trees in this location funded by the Mayor of London through the Outer London Fund (OLF). These recent OLF proposals are potentially compatible with the BXC proposals.

"Although it is noted that this space provides a level of local amenity space it should be noted that the qualitative and quantitative improvement to local open spaces provided early in the wider BXC scheme delivery programme will mitigate the loss of this space. In addition, it is likely that some increased area of public realm will be provided and retained as part of the Outer London Fund proposals.

"The Section 73 application will be considered by the Planning and Environment Committee and local residents’ comments will be reported for Members' consideration."