[Reposted from 7 June 2013] GLA spins Peel Centre land release: "Existing London playing fields and running track to be concreted over, in grubby property deal" (we made that up)

Greater London Authority press release

"Historic police training centre at Hendon set to be transformed through major regeneration plan"

"The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, has today invited developers to submit plans to regenerate 22 hectares at the site of the historic Metropolitan Police Peel Centre training headquarters at Hendon, creating a thriving new neighbourhood with more than 1,650 new homes and releasing capital to plough back into the development of a brand new training facility fit for modern day policing.

"Owned by the Mayor's Office for Policing And Crime (MOPAC), the site has been home to the renowned Met training centre since 1934, but is now considered outdated, expensive and underused. Proposals outlined today would see it transformed into a new residential quarter with a minimum of 1,650 new homes, cycle routes, retail units and a primary school and nursery, as well as a substantial amount of open green space.

"The site is the first major scheme to be procured through the new London Development Panel, set up by the Mayor to fast track the disposal of public land to boost construction and housing. The Mayor already has an extensive programme to release public land for development, with recent agreements signed to develop sites including Cane Hill in Croydon and Catford stadium in Lewisham.

"Key to the redevelopment of the site is the requirement that any capital raised through the sale of the land will be ploughed back into funding a new modern and fit-for-purpose operations and training centre at a smaller part of the site. Currently the Met Police only uses around a fifth of the space provided by the 22 hectare Peel Centre site. Estimates suggest that the redevelopment of the site will halve running costs at Hendon, freeing up revenue of up to £6 million each year - the equivalent of more than 120 police officers.

"The Mayor of London Boris Johnson said:
"This regeneration will create much needed jobs and homes to drive growth in a vital area of north London, as well as bringing schools and parks to a thriving new neighbourhood.

The iconic Peel Centre has been at the heart of the Met for almost 80 years, and these proposals will cement Hendon's future as one of the best police training grounds in the world.

What's more, it will drive down costs and cut waste in the Met's estate budget, helping us to maintain officer numbers and keep London's streets safe."

[Boris, of course, didn't say that personally. Even Brian Coleman does not credit him with knowing details.]

"The sale of the site is part of a wider strategy by MOPAC to dispose of underused land and buildings in its vast and expensive estate, which will save £60 million in running costs and help the force protect front-line policing.

"Jane Bond, Director of Property Services for the Metropolitan Police, said:
"The Peel Centre has a proud place in the history of the Met and a world-class reputation for police training.

We are undertaking the most significant transformation of the police estate in order to reduce running costs whilst investing in modern facilities that are fit for our officers, staff and the public."

[Let us hope that 'London Communications Agency' is not involved.]
"The London Borough of Barnet has identified the Peel Centre site as one of the essential sites for the regeneration of Colindale in its action plan for the area, driving jobs and growth in the borough.

"Leader of Barnet Council Richard Cornelius said:
"I am delighted to see MOPAC moving forward with the redevelopment of this site.

The Peel Centre is a key employer in Colindale and this will enhance the effectiveness of a major police asset. It will also see the construction of new homes which both Barnet and London desperately need."

[Richard was notoriously delighted about other things.]

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