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Thumbs down for new 'city' in north London

PUBLISHED: 13:57 09 April 2009 | UPDATED: 16:05 07 September 2010

Susanna Wilkey CAMDEN councillors have unanimously voted against the proposed £4billion Brent Cross Cricklewood regeneration scheme for fear it will seriously damage the borough. At a planning meeting last Thursday, councillors debated the project which w

Susanna Wilkey

CAMDEN councillors have unanimously voted against the proposed £4billion Brent Cross Cricklewood regeneration scheme for fear it will seriously damage the borough.

At a planning meeting last Thursday, councillors debated the project which will create a new town centre on the doorstep of West Hampstead and Golders Green.

Committee members all objected to the development, which will create 27,000 new jobs and 7,500 homes and is due to be decided by Barnet Council in the next two months, because it relied too heavily on private car use.

They claimed this would choke Camden's streets, pose a danger to residents and schoolchildren and cause more air pollution.

The 15 per cent affordable housing level was also too low for the councillors, and they are concerned about the knock-on effect the development will have on Cricklewood station.

Jonathan Joseph, development director for the Brent Cross Cricklewood Development Partners, was at the meeting and promised to address the concerns.

Fortune Green councillor Russell Eagling said: "The impact of the traffic will affect all the roads in the north of the borough.

"The development is simply not going to work - there will be wide boulevards in the development coming out into narrow Camden roads.

"This development is too big for the infrastructure which is there already. There is a lack of public transport provision and we would like to see a light rail network otherwise it will be a nightmare and ricochet throughout the whole borough.

"There will also be three stations within a mile of each other - Cricklewood, Hendon and the new one - and people are also very worried about the long-term effect on Cricklewood and whether Network Rail will eventually close it."

Fellow ward councillor Flick Rea said: "It will seriously affect the junctions in the area - anyone who uses the Mill Lane junction with Shoot Up Hill will know it is one of the most dangerous in the borough already. Any extra traffic will seriously affect it even more."

Cllr Jonathan Simpson said that Kilburn High Road and Shoot Up Hill already have serious traffic problems and anyone who tries to drive there at the weekend would be "insane." He added: "This part of the borough will struggle considerably if these proposals go forward. We want to make sure our roads our safe for our children, particularly those in Hampstead School."

Councillors said Camden has worked hard to reduce the number of cars on its roads and does not want to mitigate the development with traffic calming measures.

Brent councillors have also informed Barnet Council of their concerns, and have appointed independent consultants to assess its possible impact.

Mr Joseph told the committee the scheme was necessary for an area which demands renewal and has been designated for regeneration for 25 years.

"The transport plans have been carefully checked over by Barnet Council and TfL," he said.

"We have a target of affordable housing of 30 per cent and a guarantee of 15 per cent because this is the only regeneration scheme in the UK which doesn't have the benefit of government grants for the infrastructure.

"We are funding £500million of transport improvements without a penny of government grants.


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