More than £189 million will be spent on waste and recycling facilities for the new Brent Cross Cricklewood Development but environmental campaigners still oppose plans to build it.
A £5 billion new town centre in the north London borough of Barnet is planned to be built as part of the project. The Brent Cross Cricklewood Developments partners comprise the owners of Brent Cross Shopping Centre, Hammerson and Standard Life Investments UK Shopping Centre Trust, and a separate joint venture between Hammerson and the development firm Brookfield Europe.
If planning application is approved by Barnet Council the new town will have a materials recovery facility, mechanical biological treatment plant, a gasification plant and an underground vacuum waste system.
Speaking about the plans, development manager Jonathan Joseph said: I am absolutely enthralled about doing this in a central London location, and I am proud of it literally being a virtuous circle of power generation and waste disposal - a London first. As far as I know this is the first one all going to be done on site.
It raises the whole consciousness of people towards the whole issue of recycling. It leads people to think about recycling waste and where their non-recyclable waste goes and how this can be put to use.
A new shopping centre and 7,500-home development will also be built as part of the projects plans.
Joseph explained that waste will come from two sources to be taken to the waste treatment process. Waste from businesses and houses in the development and waste from the North London Waste Authority. The NLWA is a statutory authority which encompasses seven local authorities in north London: Barnet Council, Enfield Council, Haringey Council, Waltham Forest Council, Hackney Council, Islington Council and Camden Council.
The plans for the development have provoked controversy as environmental campaigners believe the project will be a Trojan horse for an incinerator.
A Friends of the Earth spokeswoman said there was still a lot of detail lacking from the development plans and the environmental group continue to oppose the plans. She said that there was still a lot of spin going on and a lot of greenwash.
Brent Council Dollis Hill ward Liberal Democrat Councillor Alec Castle said that Brent Council had opposed the development plans on the grounds of transport issues. Castle argues that the proposed facility will bring in hundreds of HGV trucks through the area. He said that residents will suffer from resultant pollution and it will bring about the destruction of the community.
He also said that Camden Council had rejected the plans and Brent Council had written to the Ministry of State to call in the decision.
Castle also likened the gasification process to incineration and said that the fuel would have to be burnt.
He said he was not against sustainability but speaking about the waste facilities he explained: It is a dinosaur from the mid- twentieth century and is completely car-centred.
Its purely commercial and is a relic from Jurassic park.
But Joseph has refuted the FoE arguments and said: There has been a load of misinformation about what the treatment process is going to be. People have formed a view that we are going to be promoting mass incineration on the site. We are absolutely excluding mass burn process from what we are proposing.
Joseph added that he was dismayed by the Friends of the Earth criticism of the development programme. He said: I support the general aims of the FoE - I am not anti-FoE I am pro FoE.
Planning approval for the development will be decided by Barnet Council on 23 September.