A resident asks on the Brent Planning Portal whether the frontage of the new Ark Elvin school building will be as in the artist's sketch above, which is on the documentation to be considered.
The short answer appears to be 'no' if one refers to the Wembley Area Action Plan:
W5 Copland School and Brent House(4 hectares)
Mixed use development on the High Road frontage with new / rebuilt school to the rear.
The ground floor on the High Road frontage should be commercial retail development with associated car parking. Residential development either above or adjacent to the retail should include a high proportion of family housing.
Development of the school to the rear of the site should accommodate, if possible, an additional form of entry on current capacity.
The scale of new development near to Cecil Avenue should respect the adjacent suburban character.
Car parking on the retail site should have shared use for town centre parking. There should be an active retail frontage with servicing off Wembley High Road. Access from Cecil Avenue will be limited to residential access only.
This seems to be yet more misleading information. The frontage is likely to be occupied by housing and shops. The reason why access to the building site through the Brent House site (high rise on the High Road, top centre) is that the Council does not want to disrupt the disposal and regeneration of its property.In the event of the school not coming forward as part of a joint scheme, proposals may be brought forward for the Brent House site as a standalone development.
Meanwhile it is worth looking back at the discussion atwhat was then the Brent Executive when the proposals came up for discussion. Muhammed Butt declared an interest as the parent of a child at what was then Copland but soon to be Ark, and not as a governor which he is now.
Jean Roberts, speaking for teachers at Copland and local residents opposed the land transfer: (Extract from Minutes)
With the consent of the Executive, Jean Roberts representing teachers of Copland Community School and residents, addressed the meeting and spoke against proposals to expand the school on to adjacent land involving a land transfer. She referred to the terms of title deeds, covenants and Rights of Way which could prohibit the scheme and also the intention to grant a 125 year lease on the final school site to ARK Schools (ARK) to whom the school was due to transfer as a sponsored academy on 1 September 2014. Seamus Sheridan also addressed the meeting and expressed concern over the lack of proper consultation over the proposals and restrictions on speaking rights at a public meeting. He stated that children and residents were against the expansion proposals which would result in a loss of land used for play.Rights of Way was raised at this early stage and although Fiona Alderman has ruled the application can go ahead with the Rights of Way being dealt with separately it is mentioned in the Application.
Demolition of existing buildings on site and erection of replacement building toaccommodate a three storey 9FE secondary school for 1750 pupils (1350 11-16 yearold and 400 post 16) with associated car parking, servicing and circulation space, MultiUse Games Area, All Weather Pitch, games areas and other hard and soft landscaping,together with the diversion of Public Right of Way (PROW) No.87
Public Right of Way to be realigned to border the eastern end of the MUGA and widened to 3.4m (currently it separates the school building from the playing fields)It seems strange that the POW forms part of the application but cannot be admitted as a material planning consideration.
At the Executive Meeting many reports were withheld from public scrutiny and designated as 'restricted' LINK
Currently the land is on a short-term lease from Brent Council to Ark but on completion of the new build would be handed over to them on a 125 year agreement.