Campaigners opposed to a major regeneration project in Brent Cross have lodged a formal complaint over comments made by Mayor of London Boris Johnson at last week’s London Planning Awards.
Last month the Mayor gave the go-ahead for the £4.5 billion scheme, which promises the creation of new affordable homes, health facilities and schools as well as “major improvements” to local transport facilities. At the time he said the development would “bring a new vitality to a part of the capital in need of regeneration.”
Mr Johnson has since come under fire for the tone of comments he made at the Planning Awards, with campaigners accusing him of showing “clear contempt and a lack of respect” for local people.
Speaking at the awards, the Mayor said: “In the last couple of weeks, I have green-lighted, I think you’ll know that, nodded it through, in spite of the fiercest opposition from local people, never mind, I have nodded through an enormous mixed use development at Southall gasworks, incredible plan, I have decided that we are going to go ahead, I have agreed we are going to go ahead with the new town centre at Brent Cross, and I tell you, cross isn’t the word for the some of the people up there (more laughter from audience) and and its very, very exciting and I think I think it’s very rewarding actually I think it’s one of the things that the mayor has to do because we have to you know I may be thrown out by the people at the end of all this but I do think that when I look at these schemes they are very very good for our city.”
The complainants say the Mayor’s comments “bring the office of Mayor into disrepute” and claim they are “designed to denigrate those he purports to serve and represent”.
Responding to the complaint a spokesman for Mr Johnson said: “The Mayor believes the development at Brent Cross will provide a major boost for the area, creating jobs, improving transport links and transforming the quality of life of thousands of Londoners – not least the good people of Brent Cross who are always close to his heart and whom he’d never wish to offend.”
AUDIO: Hear an extract of the Mayor’s comments