Brent Cross

Meeting: 
MQT on 2009-11-18
Session date: 
November 18, 2009
Reference: 
2009/3474
Question By: 
Navin Shah
Organisation: 
Labour Group
Asked Of: 
The Mayor

Question

As the Mayor may know, the Brent Cross development was rejected in a public inquiry in 2000 on the basis that the future regeneration scheme for 2000 residential units was nebulous. The Secretary of State defined Brent Cross as a regional shopping centre in an out-of-centre location and should therefore be developed after local town centres which are favoured first.

The developers consequently repositioned Brent Cross as a new town centre in order to address this criticism. However, on the recently reduced plans for BXC, there is no commitment to any of the future phases which would deliver community infrastructure including the train station, hotels, offices, parks, jobs and so on. Only the shopping centre and 795 residential units are now promised.

- Does the Mayor believe Brent Cross should be continued to be viewed as a 'new town centre' in light of the reduced housing provision? - What is the now revised total level of affordable housing? - What consultation of the GLA has occurred in this revision? - Has the Mayor's Housing advisor thus accepted a decreased affordable housing target for the London Borough of Barnet? What is the new target?

Answer

Answer for Brent Cross

Answer for Brent Cross

Answered By: 
The Mayor

I continue to support the vision for Brent Cross as a new town centre. My understanding is that the application has always proposed housing to be staggered across most of the phases. The first phase includes significant infrastructure works, a mix of uses including retail and housing, specifically the re-provision of the existing Whitefields Estate and Rosa Freedman sheltered housing centre. As set out in my officers' report, February 2009 (PDU/1483/01), it is understood that this mix of uses has been proposed since the application was submitted, known as the 'Primary Development Package'. Other phases would follow, and are likely to become more viable as the initial infrastructure costs are absorbed.

On this basis the total level of affordable housing will be subject to review over the lifetime of the project. My officers are still in discussions with the applicant regarding this matter. However, the current offer proposed by the applicant in the Primary Development Package will be subject to further testing (notwithstanding the delivery of the replacement Whitefields Estate and Rosa Freedman sheltered housing). It is proposed that all remaining phases will have a 15% minimum level of affordable housing with the opportunity to go above this should viability allow.

Barnet Council has led consultation on amendments to the application. I have not formally considered any changes to the application since consideration at the consultation stage in February 2009. My officers have, however, been discussing changes with the Council, the applicant and other stakeholders. Should the Council resolve to grant planning permission I will be required to consider changes since February 2009 and the merits of these in the context of London Plan policy and any other material representations.

Barnet Council's affordable housing delivery target, 2008/11, is not affected by any changes to the Brent Cross scheme.