Page last updated at 16:28 GMT, Friday, 20 November 2009

5bn town centre scheme approved

Brent Cross shopping centre
The development would cost half as much as the 2012 Olympics

A £5bn plan to create a new town centre in north-west London has been approved by councillors despite opposition over traffic issues and a waste plant.

The proposals for Cricklewood and Brent Cross aim to create 27,000 jobs as well as homes, schools and transport links.

Plans for a new waste facility have raised concern among campaigners who believe the scheme could be a "Trojan horse" for a new incinerator.

Local MP Sarah Teather wants a public inquiry into the scheme.

The Mayor of London Boris Johnson will now assess the 20-year scheme.

Environment concerns

Barnet's local planning authority have granted outline planning permission to Brent Cross Cricklewood Development for the 250 acre site.

Barnet Council Leader, Councillor Mike Freer, said: "This is a once in a generation opportunity to secure significant investment in a part of our borough that needs a major boost.

"It will enable us to deliver our policy of creating successful suburbs while at the same time safeguarding the environment."

Plans include a new shopping centre south of Brent Cross and would require the relocation of Hendon Waste Transfer Facility.

Power generator

Ms Teather said: "We are not against regeneration that would improve the area, but we are passionately against regeneration that will actually make our area worse.

"You simply cannot build a colossal new urban centre without taking steps to protect the environment and the community that is already there.

"The Secretary of State must now act immediately to call in this scheme."

Friends of the Earth had organised a petition against plans for the new facility which was signed by thousand of local residents.

Developers have rejected the concerns, saying it it would be a "state of the art" facility to provide fuel for a power generator.

The plans will create health facilities and premises for three new schools as well as a new bus and railway station.

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