Monday, 15 May 2017

Brent Cabinet to discuss Northwick Park One Public Estate Memorandum

Controversial 'One Public Estate' plans LINK for Northwick Park will be discussed at the Cabinet on May 22nd (at the earlier time of 6pm) in the form of a Memorandum of Understanding between the four partners: London Borough of Brent, London NW Healthcare NHS Trust, University of Westminster and Network Homes.

Consultation revealed resident fears over impact on transport, existing infrastructure including schools, flood and drainage and the need to consult with Harrow Council.  I would also add the potential impact on public open space as being a concern.

--> The Memorandum of Understanding stresses improvements for all the partners but also has an underlying theme of reducing costs and maximising receipts and land values:
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The Key Objectives

The aim of the Project in general terms is to work together to rationalise services and resources between the Partners and Associate Partners  and unlock development land to facilitate hospital redevelopment, new homes and improved services for the community.
Common visions for partners;
·      Place making
·      Central hub(s)
·      Improved infrastructure (road network and Highways, cycle ways etc.), and transport connections, (Underground, overground rail and buses), and private
·      Utility and boundary review.
·      Energy strategy
·      Shared facilities and services. 

 The specific aim of Project is to:
·      to generate capital receipts.
·      to reduce running costs
·      to create jobs,
·      to create homes,
·      to integrate services These aims are referenced in Brent’s July 2016 Phase Four OPE MOU  

Key objectives for Brent are;
·      More affordable homes
·      More school places
·      Growth
·      Increased revenue from homes and businesses
·      Employment and skills opportunities within the Borough. 

 Key objectives for London Northwest Healthcare NHS Trust
·      Maximise income for the Trust in order to support its deficit and sustainability plans
·      Ensure accommodation requirements are met
·      Improve access to the hospital
·      Protect existing clinical services from distribution or delay (e.g. Blue light vehicles, clinical activity)
·      Improve civic values of the development
·      Address requirement to re-provide services currently on the land, whilst ensuring continuity  

Key objectives for The University of Westminster
·      Maintain and increase student satisfaction levels
·      Upgrade teaching spaces
·      Increase critical mass and create a sense of place
·      Create additional student accommodation
·      Maximise value of landholding
·      Create staff accommodation.  

Key Objectives for Network Homes Ltd.
·      Phased redevelopment of Northwick Park working collaboratively with other land holders to maximise the potential opportunity
·      Delivery of new affordable and mixed tenure housing as well as commercial uses
·      High quality design and place making, including the main gateway into the site from NWP tube station, serving all land holdings
·      Improved infrastructure and transport connections to help ensure a sustainable future for Northwick Park residents, service providers and hospital patients

This is project outline as first published in One Public estate (Local Government Association/Cabinet office) February 2017 (click on image to enlarge)


5 comments:

  1. Oh dear, they're at it again, Northwick NO PARK joins Wembley NO PARK in the not too distant future. Will Concrete Urban Jungle Planning succeed to reduce green space yet again.
    Definition of a Park! an area of land, usually in a largely natural state, for the enjoyment of the public, having facilities for rest and recreation, often owned, set apart, and managed by a city, state, or nation. I rest my case.

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    1. Dear Jaine,

      I know that Wembley is more your patch than Northwick Park, but my reply to you on this may assist residents in that area who want to protect their local green space.

      I know from my local history research that when the Council sets up a park or recreation ground, there are usually lots of strict conditions surrounding it which are set out in the Council's minutes (these were often more detailed and informative in the past than they are now!).

      I don't know when Northwick Park was established, but the records for it will probably be found in the minutes books of either the Borough of Wembley (from 1937) or Wembley Urban District Council before then. The Council will probably have borrowed money from the Government (under Public Health Act provisions) to acquire the land, and if the land was bought before 1965, they probably received a contribution towards the cost (of between 25% and 75%) from Middlesex County Council.

      In both cases, they would have to have given clear undertakings, backed up by resolutions approved in Full Council, that the land involved would only be used for public open space purposes, as a park and/or sports ground.

      There have been particular examples in the past where the use of part of a local park or sports ground for TEMPORARY housing has been permitted (most notably for pre-fab homes from 1945 until the 1960's), but this was always on strict conditions that the land would be restored and returned to its original public open space use.

      If residents can establish (from the Council or long-term neighbours) when Northwick Park became a Council-owned park / sports ground, they should be able to find evidence in the minutes at Brent Archives to support keeping it that way.

      Philip.

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  2. At the recent AGM of the Sudbury Court Residents Association we were treated to a briefing on the One Public Estate proposals by two of Brent Council's senior officials. All residents present were astounded to hear that One Public Estate was all about tidying up run down alleyways near to the Hospital site, problems of shared fencing along the alleyway, a seat that is rarely used by anyone and a tidying up of the area around Northwick Park Station. The officials provided A4 Xerox colour prints of these rundown areas for all to see. Councillor McLennan was also present at the meeting keeping a watchful eye on proceedings;some would say a hawk eyed watch to make sure that nothing too revealing would be said. There was no mention of any affordable housing, shops, access road, etc, planned to encroach on the Park itself. The only "development" seemed to be restricted to the Hospital grounds. Residents were permitted to ask several searching questions but answers were thin on the ground; well non answers in reality along the lines that any plans were in an early feasibility stage and once developed local residents would be invited to share their views. Another Brent done deal. By the time it
    reaches the stage of sharing their "plans" with local people, it will be so far advanced that contractors would be ready to move on site and steal yet another area of public recreation, another area for wildlife, another breathing space with trees and exercise space for all. The presentation, if you could it that, was the worst I have ever experienced and I have been to quite a few of Brent's earlier examples. At least they are consistent; they are all of an appalling standard; as one resident commented "all smoke and mirrors".

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    1. It is sad to see the way that Brent Council handles such matters. There is an opportunity for you to challenge this at the Cabinet meeting.

      One of the Key Objectives which Brent and its partners have signed up to is to 'unlock development land'. This must be an area of land (sufficiently large to provide 'over 500 homes, as well as other buildings) which has been identified on a map.

      Councillors / residents should ask the Cabinet to share this map with them, and the public, at the meeting on 22 May.

      Philip.

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  3. The "decisions" noted on the agenda page for Monday's Cabinet meeting include the following for this item:

    'RESOLVED:

    8.1 Cabinet noted the contents, intentions and obligations of the Memorandum of Understanding and agreed authority to execute.'

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