|Work underway to convert Brent Town Hall into a school|
The lack of affordable housing in new developments such as Willesden Green Library, Bridge Park and Moberly Sports Centre is a real issue. Brent Council have agreed that developers are excused the usual 50% affordable (although there is a debate about what exactly is an affordable rent) allocation in exchange for the 'free' building of community amenities such as cultural centres and sports centres. We need the amenities but we also need housing.
Now it appears that the Wembley French School is contributing to rising house prices in some areas of the borough. Parents of pupils due to attend the private fee paying school have been reported looking for properties in Queens Park, Kensal Rise and Dollis Hill. One estate agent serving those wards told me that the would be purchasers 'have plenty of money'. Agents in Wembley Park, close to the actual school, told me that they have not discerned any interest from French purchasers in the local area.
The proposed private sector landlord licensing scheme (to be discussed at the April 21st Executive) may have the unintended consequence of reducing the amount of private rental as the Council acts against over-crowding and illegal conversions in the sector. Again we need to act against exploitative landlords and poor quality housing but also need to be providing alternative accommodation for those likely to be hit.
Against the background of the Panorama programme and the forced movement of families out of the borough into accommodation in Birmingham, Milton Kenyes and Luton it does seem that major demographic changes are in process.