Thursday, 1 September 2016

Wembley development: 'I feel trapped in a nightmare'

Guest blog from Jaine Lunn in reaction to Brent Council's plan to review the Local Plan LINK

I saw your blog and so wanted to comment/blog but am at a loss as where to start. Whilst I think in theory it is a fantastic idea to get local residents involved in the Local Plan review I feel once again Brent Council are just blowing smoke up our arses.  They don't really care, its futile to think that we will be listened to and our suggestions taken on board and acted upon, for them it's just a PR exercise.  They will do what they like and when it goes "Tit's up" they will blame Central Government - they made the laws.

As you know I live in one of the oldest streets in Wembley circa 1906.  I have lived here for 30 years, in the past 10 years I have paid attention to all propaganda delivered to my door on Wembley's UDP, Local Plan etc etc,  It has been changed so many times I have lost count.  I now find myself trapped in what I can only describe as an absolute​ nightmare.  Since the changes in planning laws thanks to Sir Eric Pickles, minister for Local Government and Communities, two office building's at the entrance to my one way street are in the process of being converted to flats.  Despite mine and my neighbours protests at every opportunity to planning, both have been given planning permission to do what the hell they like.  Both have been given permission to increase height by 2 floors.  Neither Developer is providing any social housing, or affordable.  Both buildings will house 1/2 bedroom flats, open plan, live in your kitchen type flats.  Neither one provides any out door amenity space, no balconies etc.  Some in one development does not even meet basic standards in terms of square metres and falls short by even the Councils minimum standards. But hey "they have a get out of jail card" as under permitted development they were not allowed to take action as to what is built within the fabric of the building,  only if they change the outside would they need planning permission.  This has been going on for 3 years and neither building is finished as yet.  When finished it will result in approximately 200+ ( taken from the developer's assessment) people accessing my street.  From 29 houses we will have increased by 60 additional homes.  Whilst they have some parking they are not able to accommodate every flat.

Brent House Annexe's ground floor flats will have their windows open directly on to the high road, despite it being in the Local Plan that they should be offices or shops at ground level.

You need to visit my street, take pictures and post the results. ( Brent Council have made changes to their system so you cannot upload numerous photos):
  • Residents with permits cannot park.
  • Broken pavements and knocked down bollards created by all the heavy goods vehicles delivering plant and supplies, parking on pavements as street is so narrow.
  • Daily blocking access.
  • Huge holes in the road as water, gas and electrics make constant upgrades to accommodate the extra facilities required.
  • Constant disruption to Broadband and Telephone.  I have had loss to my service 3 times this year so far.  Directly due to all works in the street.
  • Ugly hoardings which prevent any natural surveillance of entrance to street, people persistently driving in the opposite direction of the one way system.
  • Trucks, Lorries, and workers vehicles parking on private property with gay abandonment.  With no consideration to the residents private parking.  Blocking access to garages, and their own parking  bays. Clogging up the CPZ. We rarely see any parking wardens during the day.
  • They work Saturdays, Sundays and Bank Holidays,  drilling and making noise. I have persistently called Planning enforcement who issue notices to cease and desist but to no action is actually taken. Despite being consistently in breach of planning regs, building regs, etc etc.
  • Flytipping is a daily occurrence.  I use the "Cleaner Brent" app daily.  I have the proof.

Don't even want to go into the times that Veolia now think its OK to reverse down my street buzzer and lights flashing waking up everyone at 2.30 am, 1.30 am, Midnight was the latest time recorded, but regularly after 11.00 pm at night.

I have proof from Land Registry that the Brent Council (Len Snow being on the Board of Directors for Copland School) transferred the Public Land "Coplands Fields" to Copland School, which is now Ark Elvin who have gained 26+ acres for FREE, to use for the building of the school and MUGA facilities, despite us knowing that we are 50% down on green space for the amount of residents in the area.

The list is endless!

I have no confidence in the system anymore.  Even to the extent of citing the Human Rights Act, which affords people the right to peaceful enjoyment of their property it does not apply to us regular Council Tax payers.

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