Redrow: Mayor responds to Questions about the Secret Policeman's Sale of Peel Centre Running Track and Playing Fields (couched in general terms!)

London playing fields
Question No: 2014/3729
Andrew Dismore
As the strategic planning authority, is your view that London's playing fields and running tracks must all be protected from development, without your own overwhelming reasons otherwise - and that such reasons must go beyond mere London borough analysis about very localised alternatives?
Written response from the Mayor
London Plan policies support proposals to enhance or increase the provision of existing sports and recreation facilities and resist net loss. Multi-use public facilities are encouraged wherever possible. Where social infrastructure facilities are no longer needed they should be considered for other forms of social infrastructure before alternative developments are considered.

Boroughs are required to assess the need for facilities in line with national policy. This should be done on a local and sub-regional basis, taking account of the availability of facilities beyond borough boundaries. Together with Sport England, I am providing funding to support boroughs undertake these studies.

London playing fields (2)
Question No: 2014/3730
Andrew Dismore
Do you consider such sites near major public transport facilities are particularly worthy of protection, or is this not a factor at all?
Written response from the Mayor
London Plan policies apply to all sports and recreation facilities irrespective of their location.  Whilst all facilities should be accessible and within easy reach by foot, cycle and public transport, no specific focus is placed on sites near to public transport.

London playing fields (3)
Question No: 2014/3731
Andrew Dismore
Since coming to power, what reasons have you ever given in planning policy, or decisions, regarding protection or destruction of such sites, beyond repeating London borough considerations?
Written response from the Mayor
My London Plan policies support proposals to enhance or increase the provision of sports and recreation facilities and resist net loss in order to increase participation in sport and physical activity. Alternative uses may be considered where facilities are no longer needed and where other forms of social infrastructure have been considered, where there is a local need. In assessing development proposals I consider London Plan policies as a whole, the need for facilities, and would expect sites to be enhanced or retained unless there are compelling reasons otherwise.

London playing fields (4)
Question No: 2014/3732
Andrew Dismore
You have previously mentioned policy research on running track provision (and perhaps on playing fields) by UK Athletics and Athletics England, to be released "this autumn". Has this report been received yet? Is it freely published?
Written response from the Mayor
The UK Athletics (UKA) 2014-19 Facilities Strategy has now been published and is available to download from the UKA website at:

London playing fields (5)
Question No: 2014/3733
Andrew Dismore
Did you commission the research by UK Athletics and Athletics England into running track provision, and if so, what was the brief? If not, who did, and how do you know about it? Have you provided any input into it?
Written response from the Mayor
The UK Athletics (UKA) 2014-19 Facilities Strategy was published by the UKA and the Home Country Athletics Federations (HCAFs) and is available to download from the UKA website at:

Link to Redrow Colindale web site

"We will seek to respond to all of your questions and consider all of your feedback before we submit our final planning application to Barnet Council. We have already started discussions with Barnet, the Greater London Authority and Transport for London.

"This application will cover the entire site in outline, as well as the detailed design for the first phase [the running track and playing fields!] which will include the new family homes, primary school and community park.

"We are looking to submit the application in early autumn this year [nope!] and we hope to be able to start this initial phase of work in Spring 2015. We estimate that the entire scheme will take around 10 years to deliver."

Peel Centre planning application,
reference H/04753/14

Hybrid planning application for the phased comprehensive redevelopment of part of the existing Peel Centre site including the demolition of all existing buildings and the provision of a residential-led mixed use development comprising up to 2,900 new residential units (Use Class C3), with 888 units in full detail and up to 2,012 units in outline in buildings ranging from 2-21 storeys; up to 10,000 square metres of non-residential floorspace (Use Classes A1-A4, D1, D2); the provision of a 3 form entry primary school (including nursery provision) and a minimum of 4 hectares of public open space.? Associated site preparation/enabling works, transport infrastructure namely a new pedestrian connection to Colindeep Lane and junction works, landscaping and car parking. The application is accompanied by an Environmental Statement. | Peel Centre, Peel Drive, Colindale, London, NW9 5JE

Application Received Date Fri 29 Aug 2014
Application Validated Date Fri 29 Aug 2014
Expiry Date Fri 19 Dec 2014
Actual Committee Date Not Available
Latest Neighbour Consultation Date Not Available
Neighbour Consultation Expiry Date Sat 01 Nov 2014
Standard Consultation Date Not Available
Standard Consultation Expiry Date Sat 01 Nov 2014
Last Advertised In Press Date Thu 25 Sep 2014
Latest Advertisement Expiry Date Sat 01 Nov 2014
Last Site Notice Posted Date Thu 25 Sep 2014
Latest Site Notice Expiry Date Sat 01 Nov 2014
Decision Made Date Not Available
Decision Issued Date Not Available
Permission Expiry Date Not Available
Decision Printed Date Not Available
Environmental Impact Assessment Received Not Available
Target Determination Date Fri 19 Dec 2014

[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.]