Category Archives: News

Donoghue and the NLWP

Our efforts to relocate Donoghue continue.

GGERA represented the community at the NLWP Examination Hearings on Wednesday 20th November and Thursday 21st November.

As explained on the NLWP web site, the North London Waste Plan (NLWP) sets out the planning framework for waste management in the North London Boroughs for the next 15 years. It will identify sites for waste management use and set out policies for determining waste planning applications. It has the potential to affect us all in this area if – as planned – Donoghue’s site is included as a safeguarded waste site.

We made representations to the NLWP draft consultation that took place earlier this year. An inspector was appointed to conduct the examination to determine if the plan is sound. We believe it is not because:

  • No one who is directly affected by Donoghue’s was engaged in the process or was consulted during the consultation.
  • Donoghue’s site is considered an existing protected waste site; however, it is in the wrong location because it is surrounded by residential, community and educational facilities. Additionally Donoghue’s business operations have outgrown its site.
  • Handley Grove and the youth homeless shelter residents that immediately neighbour Donoghue have been living in agony for years and their health and well-being have been affected. They and other many people affected by Donoghue cannot wait until 2026 or later for its relocation!
  • The site is not operated sustainably, generating too many unnecessary lorry journeys and polluting the air we breathe.
  • Our local council has spent too much taxpayer’s money to bring this business into compliance and to repair the damage caused by its heavy fleet on our roads, while our children’s schools and public services are suffering drastic cuts.
  • We would like to have the site’s safeguarded status removed and Barnet to commit to its relocation in collaboration with the North London Waste Authority as an urgent matter.

Spring Bulbs

Over the coming months a variety of spring bulbs will be planted in the green spaces on The Vale. This will attract bees and other pollinating insects, will look very pretty and will be low maintenance.

We’d like to thank Thomson and Morgan who are donating bulbs for this project and the Brent Cross South Community Fund for their donation.

Why Donoghue’s Relocation Cannot Wait

1) It is in everyone’s interest.

  • Donoghue wants to move as the site is too small.
  • Both Barnet and the North London Waste Authority (NLWA) require a fully functional waste management plant to cope with present and future demand.
  • Residents and businesses cannot wait.

2) The site is inadequate for waste management for Barnet and the NLWA.

  • It is too small to properly manage the current volume of waste.
  • The site has no space for the number of HGVs transporting waste and so there is an overflow onto Claremont Road.
  • The site is not coping with current waste needs and will not be able to cope with any additional demand from the Brent Cross Regeneration.

3) The site is in the wrong location and puts at risk our most vulnerable. 

  • The area around Donoghue has changed in the last 40 years and is predominantly residential.
  • The site is blocked to the west by the railway; its only point of access is on Claremont Road. Along this road there are 3 schools (a primary, a secondary and a special needs), 2 playgroups, a nursing home for the elderly, a post office sorting office, 2 churches and a community hall. 4 bus routes also use this road.
  • Donoghue shares fences with a young person’s homeless centre, a social housing development and a children’s playground.

4) The quality of the air we breathe is a hazard to our health. 

  • According to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), “Regularly breathing construction dust can cause diseases like lung cancer, asthma, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) and silicosis. These diseases cause permanent disability and early death. Over 500 construction workers are believed to die from exposure to silica dust every year.”
  • Alex Chown, the Environment Agency’s Area Environment Manager for North London, responding to our concern about the amount of dust in the area, said that what we cannot see is the bigger problem. The visible and invisible dust we all breathe is a hazard to our health.

5) The intensity of use harms our neighbourhood. 

  • This is against national, local and NLWA policies that aim to protect local amenities.
  • In order to prevent this, Donoghue would need to significantly scale down.

6) Our roads cannot cope with the additional load.

  • HGVs are getting bigger, heavier and significantly increasing in number.
  • It is unjustifiable for the Council to spend taxpayers’ money to keep this one business under control and to repair road damages partly caused by its overloading and intensity of use.
  • The Vale repairs alone are estimated to cost over £240,000. We would rather see this money invested in our children’s future.

7) Children need protection. 

  • Children have been speaking up against climate change. Local schools encourage them to walk and cycle to and from school.
  • Lack of action from Barnet Council and the NLWA sends a mixed and wrong message, as it exposes children to very high levels of pollution and terrifying road safety risks.
  • Please do not wait for an accident or casualty before the relocation of Donoghue is taken seriously. 

Mary Bennet

We are so sorry to report the recent death of our friend and neighbour, Mary Bennett, a long-term resident of the Golders Green Estate and for many years an ardent supporter of GGERA and the Memories Group.

We will treasure the many memories she leaves behind. Her funeral is on Monday 18 March at 1:00 pm at All Saints Church in Cricklewood Lane (behind the school).

Mary speaking to Bill and Roger from HADAS (Hendon and District Archaeological Society) after the first archaeological dig at Clitterhouse Farm.

Electoral Boundary Review (Update)

We previously mentioned the electoral review of Barnet Council being carried out by the Local Government Boundary Commission.

The aim of the review was to recommend ward boundaries that mean each councillor represents approximately the same number of voters and to ensure that the ward boundaries reflect the interests and identities of local communities, as well as promoting effective local government.

The Commission has now published its draft recommendations and is inviting comments.  The consultation closes on 13 May 2019.

Have your say now.

The current (blue) and proposed (red) boundaries are shown below.

Police Warnings

The Golders Green Safer Neighbourhood Team have passed on a couple of warnings:

Bogus Callers

Uniforms belonging to British Gas have been stolen. 

If you are visited at your home address by someone claiming to be from British Gas without an appointment, do not let them in without checking with British Gas first on 0333 202 9802.

Keep your door securely shut, and if you have a door chain put it on.

Be aware of cold callers. If you’re not sure who is at your door, don’t open it. If you believe bogus callers are trying to access your home, call police on 999.

Check the identity of the caller by calling the company they are claiming to be from – i.e. gas, electricity, water or police.

Use the telephone numbers listed in your local directory or provided independently by your service provider or online on their website.

Do not use any telephone numbers provided by the caller – they may be bogus.

Catalytic Converters

We have had numerous reports of thefts of catalytic converters that took place in the last month in Golders Green, Childs Hill and Garden Suburb area.

The main function of a catalytic converter is to clean up the exhaust gases from an engine before they exit the exhaust pipe. It is a small piece/filter that looks like a honeycomb that the thieves are usually after.

Cars that have been targeted include the Honda Jazz and Toyota Prius. The converters in these old models are easier to access. Thieves jack up the car and saw the converter end to end in around 60 seconds.

When stealing a catalytic converter the muffler is disconnected, so your vehicle will sound very loud. Toxic fumes will likely be easy to smell. The vehicle should not be driven without the catalytic converter and instead it should be towed to a repair shop.

  • There are anti-theft systems, locks and alarms, which can be purchased online.
  • You can mark the metallic shell of your CAT. This may make it easier to be identified as stolen property.
  • Consider installing CCTV devices. They are also major deterrent and could cost less than replacing a CAT.

At times, these incidents have happened in broad day light. The best prevention is to raise awareness of the issue in your community, to keep an eye on your road and to immediately report any suspicious activities by calling 999.

Electoral Boundary Review

The Local Government Boundary Commission is carrying out an electoral review of Barnet Council.  The deadline for making comments is Monday 3 December.

The aim of the electoral review is to recommend ward boundaries that mean each councillor represents approximately the same number of voters and to ensure that the ward boundaries reflect the interests and identities of local communities, as well as promoting effective local government.

Follow this link to have your say.

Cricklewood Tower Block?

Our sister organisation, NorthWestTWO, has drawn our attention to a proposal to build a 15-storey tower block in Cricklewood. The deadline for comments is 7 December.

The full details can be found at https://www.northwesttwo.org.uk/1-13/ where you will also find a link to Barnet’s planning site if you would like to comment.

Ben Tansley from NorthWestTWO writes …

The plan is to tear down the rather sad 3-storey block at 1-13 Cricklewood Lane (where the Co-op, Lucky 7 and others are) and the one behind it where the health centre is. They’ll be replaced by two 6-storey blocks and one 15-storey tower block.

Obviously this block would tower over everything around it and be totally out of keeping with the rest of Cricklewood. The developers’ answer is that the B&Q site and a lot more besides will all be redeveloped with about 20 new buildings! All that will hide their tower block and make it look small.

But they don’t own the B&Q site or the rest, nobody’s put in planning applications for it and Barnet council haven’t produced any master-plan for it. This is something the developers have dreamt up to justify their tower block. Of course, if this building’s approved, it will blight the land around it and limit the options for anyone thinking of building on it. Extreme-density, high-rise development will be that much more likely.

There’s a lot more wrong with this application – we haven’t even mentioned the transport issues, the lack of affordable housing, or so much else. You’ll find some of it on our website.

We don’t know yet when the planning committee will meet. They’ll only be able to accept or reject the application; they can’t strike a deal. If they reject it, the developers can appeal and then come back with a better plan. So if you want the Co-op building redeveloped but you don’t want a tower-block, do object to this application.

It’s worth remembering that this isn’t part of Brent Cross Cricklewood. The waste transfer station and the rail freight facility that were approved this year already had outline approval. A lot depended on them. This is different. The committee can reject it without endangering anything else; indeed, it’s the other way round. Local councillors Zinkin and Clarke have sat side-by-side and confirmed it has cross-party opposition. Six local residents associations stand together in opposing it.

To show to the committee how unacceptable this is, more voices are needed.