12 November 2013

Guest blog - Cricklewood Green

The Green Space (Green Isle)
The Coalition for a Sustainable Brent Cross Development has learned that under revised plans to go before Barnet planning committee in January 2014 the green space outside B&Q (known as the 'Green Isle') will be built over in Phase one. Despite Cricklewood Town Team having popular plans to plant trees and utilise part of the space for a market in the short term, this green space has been parcelled up and sold for high density development as part of the Brent Cross Cricklewood development over a mile away.

The green space on Cricklewood Lane will be covered by a five storey building, right up to the pavement line. Phase one could begin within 3 years.

The view towards the bridge now

The view when the green space is built on

Lesley Turner, Barnet resident and BXC coalition member says:

This green space was given to Cricklewood community at the end of the eighties, as compensation or section 106 planning gain, when Food Giant (now B&Q) was built on the site. The Green does not belong to Barnet but to Cricklewood and we have asked Barnet to see the original 106 agreement. We will be challenging Barnet over the legality of the disposal or change of use of this land.
Lia Colacicco, Mapesbury resident and member of the BXC coalition added:

Cricklewood Town Team identified that Cricklewood needs a landmark at its centre, and a town square. The Green Isle is our only public space, used for the Silk Road festival and other community events and now it will be snatched from us. This piece of land is totally unrelated to the BXC development a couple of miles away, but has been wrapped up with it to gain outline planning permission. Barnet Councillors should be held to account for this stealthy disposal of green land. It is a generic piece of land to the developers, but means everything to us and needs to be unwrapped from BXC, or become the subject of a land swap. The site might not be pretty now, but look at how Mapesbury Dell has been transformed.

Once excavated it would be a real asset to the community as a plaza or other open space.
Fiona Colgan from the Groves Community Action Group said:
My neighbours and I have written to our councillors and MP to strongly oppose the plan to build on our only local green space. Cricklewood spans three boroughs - we are asking Brent and Camden councils to call Barnet to account.

Accommodation in the Groves is very high density and Cricklewood Lane gets very congested and polluted so this green space is particularly important to us but it's clear that everyone in Cricklewood would benefit if this land was retained as our 'town green’ at the heart of our community. I think Barnet needs to explain why the green space in front of B&Q wasn’t included in its calculations of green space. Those of us who live in this part of the borough often feel overlooked by Barnet who do not seem to realise that we need green space as much as those who live in the wealthier, leafier parts of the borough to the North.
The Coalition group urges people to attend the public consultation this week:
Consultation on Tuesday 12 and Wednesday 13 November from 11am to 8pm at Hendon Leisure Centre, Marble Drive, NW2 1XQ.
Comments need to be sent to nicola.capeli@barnet.gov.uk by 6th December

An on-line petition has been launched to save the Green Isle LINK

Further information on the Brent Cross Coalition website: LINK

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