Delay to transfer of estate residents into new homes at Brent Cross redevelopment

Programme director at Barnet Council admits delays caused by issues with a heating system is “not news any of us wanted at this stage”, reports Grace Howarth, Local Democracy Reporter

The first phase of Brent Cross Town is beginning to take shape
The first phase of Brent Cross Town is beginning to take shape

Plans to move residents from a council estate into new homes on the Brent Cross redevelopment have been delayed due to issues with a heating system.

As part of the Brent Cross Cricklewood regeneration programme, residents from the neighbouring Whitefield Estate are set to be rehoused in new homes in stages over the course of this year.

However, delays have mired moving plans for the first set of residents, with 47 of the homes, all affordable housing, experiencing “technical issues” with their heating system. 

A short-term fix of a temporary gas boiler is set to be installed in May, enabling moving plans to continue.

Luke Ward, Barnet Council’s Brent Cross programme director, assured councillors at a cabinet meeting yesterday (Tuesday 16th) that this wasn’t going to be the “long-term” solution.

“The buildings are complete, there are some technical issues in relation to the heating system,” he said.

“[Developer] L&Q, who are on the cusp of taking possession of those buildings, are currently putting in place a ‘provisional system’.

“This is a short-term gas boiler which is not intended to stay in there for the long-term. It should be installed from the beginning of May. 

“We’re expecting a detailed update from L&Q in the next week or so and we expect it to include a move date for the residents. 

“It’s not news any of us wanted at this stage, however the buildings have been completed [and] we expect in the next six weeks residents will be able to move into their new homes.”

The second set of residents from Whitefield Estate will be occupying 120 homes in ’Brent Cross Town’ and these are on schedule to be completed “later this year” with residents moving in “soon after completion”. These are also affordable homes.

However, councillors generally spoke positively about the programme, which is due to be fully delivered in between 15 and 20 years.

Ross Houston, deputy leader and cabinet member for homes and regeneration, led discussions on the project’s progress, saying it was “solid”. He described the second phase as “very interesting” with “good progress” made, and the third phase was “exciting”. 

“We are beginning to see a very interesting mix of place shaping and mix of tenure types,” said Cllr Houston.

“We’re going to see a lot of affordable housing coming forward, we’re going to see a ‘later living’ scheme, and student housing. 

“[It will be] a really diverse housing mix and it’s part of the vision of making sure Brent Cross Town isn’t a dormitory, it’s a new town, and I think this is very much on track for that.”

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