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Campaign Update from Brent Cross, North London

Brent Cross, Barnet, North London is home to the Brent Cross Coalition where local residents and business have banded together to campaign against a potential 130,000 tpa facility to be operated by Hammerson and Standard Life Investments (owners of Brent Cross Shopping Centre) and Cricklewood Regeneration Limited (Brookfield Europe and Hammerson). For details of the scheme see the Brent Cross Cricklewood Partners website

The proposed development site includes Brent Cross Shopping Centre to the north, the A41 and Brent Cross London Underground station to the east, Cricklewood Lane to the south and the A5 to the west [Source]. “…it is recognised that a major waste handling facility linked with a thermal treatment plant of refuse derived fuel on a CHP basis has significant planning and programme implications. Nonetheless, such facility will be proposed to be in place for phase one of the development” [Source].

UKWIN has learnt that kitchen waste is to go to AD, and gasification technology is to be used for CHP (SLR, 24/7/08). It would therefore not be a “mass burn” type of incinerator, but as it would be covered by the Waste Incineration Directive the proposal constitutes a potential incinerator site. Note: The capacity of 130,000 tpa includes a portion used for business waste.

Brent Friends of the Earth started an anti incinerator campaign [Source] and petition against the sustainability of the development [Source].

Liberal Democrat MP for Brent East, Sarah Teather and local campaigners, presented 5,000 signature petitions to the Department of Communities and Local Government [Source] and [Source].

In September 2009 The Coalition for a Sustainable Brent Cross Cricklewood Plan, comprising environmental, residents’ and campaign groups and politicians across Brent, Barnet and Camden [Source] formed to get the entire development proposal called-in for a public inquiry. In October 2009 Professor Paul Connett spoke at a local area forum against the proposed ‘gasifying incinerator’ [Source].

In November 2009 Barnet Council approved plans for the development, despite neighbouring Brent and Camden Councils objecting, due to transport impacts, and many Coalition group members speaking against the plans at the planning meeting [Source].

In March 2010 Mayor of London Boris Johnson passed the plans, and the then Secretary of State John Denham issued a stop notice, putting the scheme on hold. With a change in Government, the new Secretary of State Eric Pickles approved the plans in June 2010. In July the Barnet planning committee rushed them through, giving one unelected officer responsibility for the entire £4.5 billion development.

In October 2010 Barnet approved the plans, but North London Waste Authority also lost its DEFRA agreement to borrow around £700 million for its seven-borough PFI waste plan. Thus, the Brent Cross Coalition continues the campaign to prevent a waste incinerator from being built as part of the proposed Brent Cross Cricklewood scheme.

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