Dismore questions Cornelius on Brent Cross scheme
Labour London Assembly Member for Barnet and Camden Andrew Dismore AM has written to the Leader of Barnet Council Cllr Richard Cornelius with a series of questions after the plan to expand Brent Cross Shopping Centre was delayed by the developer, Hammerson.
Mr Dismore’s questions were:
1) When do they now expect to start, if at all?
2) What is the cost of the delay to the Council, both in terms of expense to the Council and lost or delayed revenues?
3) What is the impact of this decision on the solvency of the Council?
4) What is the impact on the Brent Cross South regeneration scheme?
5) If the scheme does not go ahead, what is the impact on the viability of the new station at Brent Cross West, and the bridge?
6) If this scheme does not go ahead, what is the impact on the road network changes that were planned? Can they still be funded through Brent Cross South, and are they all still necessary for Brent Cross South as a stand-alone development?
7) Cllr Dan Thomas is Chair of the ARG Committee overseeing this project, and in all probability after your group AGM your likely successor as leader, and is an ardent Brexiteer. Do you have confidence that he has sufficient understanding of the problems and complexities of Brexit to manage this project, given that one of the stated reasons for the decision was the impact of Brexit?
8) If there is a deferment to the Brent Cross South scheme, what will happen to the residents currently on site? Will they be able to stay for longer?
9) What impact, if any, is there likely to be on the plan to relocate the Donoghue site away from Claremont Road?
10) What recent communications have you had with neighbouring boroughs about the future of the scheme?
Mr Dismore said:
‘It is vital that Barnet Council get a grip on what this will mean for them, the wider scheme and for the local community. Brent Cross is the biggest regeneration scheme in the borough, and the Council’s finances are dependent on the Council Tax and Business Rate revenues projected from it. If there are real problems with Brexit next year, the delay could be for years, if not lead to the termination of the project altogether.’
Childs Hill Councillor Anne Clarke said:
‘I would like to know what the best possible outcome is for residents, who are already unhappy about the lack of involvement in the process, and the prospect of years of misery with vehicle movements, roadworks, traffic and pollution. Also, what are the long-term plans for the waste transfer site with aggregate and Donoghue? Residents need answers on these pretty quickly.’
Notes: See Letter to Cllr Cornelius Brent Cross July 18