Barnet residents suffer 'heartbreaking' defeat in nine-year battle against rail super-hub

A nine-year campaign by residents against a planned London rail “super-hub” has suffered a huge blow after councillors backed it by a single vote.

Barnet council’s planning committee voted six to five to approve the scheme for a freight transfer site for aggregate and building materials at Edgware Road, Cricklewood.

Supporters of the plans, submitted by DB Cargo, say it will take hundreds of heavy trucks off the roads. However, Labour councillor Lia Colacicco said: “People have put so much time and energy and emotion into fighting for the health and general quality of life of their community. The public have been treated as stupid. They know a consultation from a PR exercise. After nine years fighting for this, it was heartbreaking to see the disappointment of residents.”

Transport campaigners welcomed the decision and said it would allow construction materials needed for the £4.5 billion Brent Cross regeneration to be transported into London by rail.

The Campaign for Better Transport said: “Without the rail terminal, building 7,000 to 8,000 apartments would not be viable as construction materials would have to be delivered by HGVs with all the associated congestion, pollution and safety impacts. Each train into the terminal will remove up to 85 HGVs from London’s road network.”

The vote divided on party lines with Conservative councillors — who run the borough — voting in favour and Labour voting against.

The scheme still has to be approved by Mayor Sadiq Khan, but a council spokeswoman said he had indicated his support. She said residents’ fears that HGVs would use local streets were unfounded because they would only be allowed to use the A5 Edgware Road. It is hoped the facility will be completed by the end of this year.

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