Friday 5 July 2013

NO COMMON PEOPLE! Unique selling point for Willesden Green Library development

When we were campaigning against the Willesden Green library redevelopment we high-lighted that no affordable homes were to be built on the site once owned by Brent Council (ie our land). Brent Council argued that  Galliford Try/Linden Homes had to be sure of a profit in order to be able to build the Culltural Centre for zero cost to the Council so no affordable homes were included.

Now like a slap in the face for those on the Council's housing list, the estate agent advertising in Singapore has made the lack of affordable homes/key worker homes a selling point! Presumably this ensures prospective buyers have the 'right' sort of neighbours.



Willesden Green is one of North London’s liveliest and most cosmopolitan areas, whose excellent Zone 2 Jubilee Line connections really set it apart.

The Library takes a prominent position on Willesden High Road, and sets new standards in contemporary accommodation for the area. This exciting scheme comprises four buildings, offering ninety-five highly specified 1 and 2 bedroom apartments, many with balconies or terraces. The development is gated and has underground parking for residents: always a bonus in London.

• Prominent position on Brondesbury Road and Willesden High Road
• Next door to the forthcoming Cultural Centre
• Within 3-minutes ride to Zone 2 London tube station or 5-minute walk
• Within walking distance to Queens Park
• Willesden High Street is thronged with shops, supermarkets (Sainsbury’s Supermarket is a few minutes’ walk from The Library), cafes and restaurants and is a few minutes’ walk from Brondesbury Park
• Excellent transport links – Zone 2 Jubilee Line with direct connections to key interchanges including Baker Street, Waterloo, London Bridge and Canary Wharf
• No key worker/affordable housing (my emphasis)
• High quality fixtures, fittings and finishes
• Fully fitted kitchen by Symphony with integrated appliances and granite worktops
• Estimated Selling Price: From £350k (SGD 6xxk)

Milne Place (Block A)
1 Bedroom: 545 sqft – 626 sqft
2 Bedroom: 759 sqft – 1005 sqft

Lewis Court (Block B)
1 Bedroom: 546 sqft – 554 sqft
2 Bedroom: 614 sqft – 862 sqft

Developer: Linden Homes and Green Urban
Address: 95 Willesden High Road, London, NW10 (Zone 2 on Jubilee Line)
Tenure: 999-years
Estd Completion: Summer / Winter 2014; 4Q 2014
Site Area: 83,958.50 sqft



Anonymous said...

And having closed down a thriving, independent bookshop - the only one in our neighbourhood, the mural surrounding the demolition site is dedicated to 'The Joys of Reading'. It is, Beth Kay says, 'meant to symbolise the power and magic of imagination and reading.'

Alex C

Martin Francis said...

Alex, scarcely a week goes by without me missing the bookshop. Its loss has left a huge gap. Like many others I used to travel to WG from elsewhere in Brent to use the bookshop and combined that with a shop and coffee/lunch. Now only go there when I have a meeting in the back room of the Rising Sun. Other local shops lose out from reduced visits.

Anonymous said...

And it's a Labour Council - a Labour Council! - that's pushed this through.

claremounties said...

Social engineering guarantees financial revenue for the future. Didn't you see this coming? It's been the not-so-hidden-agenda for the last few years. The Labour Party doesn't exist as a socialist entity anymore. It's comprised of middle-class wannabees purporting to represent the working-class to asuage their guilt of undeserved entitlement.

claremounties said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Trevor said...

Having Grown up in The Borough Of Brent
I tend to Cringe When I see the Word "affordable Homes"
Having Lived in so called Affordable Homes from Childhood I now View Them as "Havens Of Torment"
Well first and Foremost they are Always of poor quality.
The Council do not learn from their mistakes
all they do is use words such as "were on your side" but of course actions speak louder than words.
so take for example Chalk hill estate it was originally Hailed as something special...But with the Passing of Time the estate Proved to be a disaster
a disgrace a failure otherwise it would still be here in 2013.
and what was to replace It was called a "regeneration" and now it is here I it's more like a Chalk hill but on a smaller scale in that once again it has the same old problems.
1. poor quality sound insulation which means normal household sounds can be heard in all parts of the flat you live in and if you happen to be be very sensitive to household sounds or noises such as chair dragging and children running back and forth
The place you Live in Will quickly become a Haven of Torment causing you no end of torment and Frustration and stress and in my personal experience has lead to problems with my neighbors.
for example when I lived on red cliffe walk my neighbor below came up in a absolute temper and kicked my front door all because I was watching a Videotape which featured a man playing Drums.
The police was called and the wife of the man who kicked my door in lied and said her husband had been in bed asleep and therefore had nothing to do with what took place earlier.
and so he basically got away with what is a criminal offense.
That would not have happened if the estate had been built with adequate sound insulation material.
and I am sure I am not the only person that suffered on Chalk hill Estate and complained about the noise problem which would and should have been noted by the council and used as a ruler or map if you like to make sure what was to replace Chalk hill Estate would be Much Better.
But as To Be Expected it isn't.
The Rooms are Smaller and again the poor sound insulation makes these flats no better Than Chalk hill estate.

Anonymous said...

In February 2012, as part of my 1-2-1 consultation meeting on the original redevelopment proposals for the Library Centre, I gave "the Project Team" a document setting out detailed arguments as to why it was important to retain the 1894 library building. In a section on the benefits this could provide, I wrote:

'The retention of the 1894 library building could also benefit Galliford Try‘s subsidiary, Linden Homes, in the marketing of its properties on the site behind the new Cultural Centre. As indicated at 1b. above, the Victorian character of the Willesden Green Conservation Area is a positive benefit in making the area feel like a good place to live, and many people are willing to pay extra for their homes to benefit from that feeling. The prominent location of the Victorian library building, on the corner which new residents will pass every time they return home, could be an attractive selling point. "Library Close" would be a place for 21st century living, with the benefits of a Victorian character High Street on its doorstep. A logo for the development, based on the Old Library building, could even be used as part of the marketing material.'

Although they initially ignored the benefits of keeping the old library, they eventually accepted that they should not (and could not) demolish it. Now they are also coming round to the view that the 1894 library building is a good selling point, but I am sorry to see that they are also using the gated community with underground car park and no "common people" sales pitch as well.

Giving away 72% of the public land at Willesden Green was too high a price for Brent to pay for its new Cultural Centre. 95 flats on that land is too high a density (for Willesden Green, though perhaps not for Singapore), and no family sized homes for local people is the final insult in this bad scheme.


Martin Francis said...

Something similar is happening at Bridge Park where the Council is selling Council (our) land to a developer to pay for a smaller leisure centre and it appears the developer will build unaffordable housing, a hotel and retail.

I published an article some time ago questioning the direction in which Andy Donald was taking the Council's regeneration strategy:

Roger said...

It is disgusting that with so much homelessness in London that new housing is aimed at foreign investors. You would expect a Tory council to get up to such shenanigans but a LABOUR council! Whom the hell do we vote for in 2015?

Robson Jerome said...

Not sure why people think the land was ours to give away in the first place. I can hardly walk into a bank and say to the manager "hello Sir, I own a slice of Roundwood Park, can you put a charge on it so I can buy a nice flat in the new library developmen pleaset" Understand who owns the land and who controls its sale.

Affordable housing, social housing, however you want to describe this type of housing. When did it ever make sense to pay £350,000+ with a mortgage when your neighbour nextdoor is housed though the council paying less than you every month.