The following submission on the SDP Masterplan for South Kilburn has been made to Brent Council by the users of The Granville Plus Centre and The Carlton Centre who live, work and study in South Kilburn: (please click at the end for the full article which is well worth reading)
Brent Council launched a consultation on its review of the South Kilburn Masterplan Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) in February 2017 which ends on the 30 March 2017. For this consultation the Council released a document over 180 pages long over 3 sections. The people from South Kilburn were given 6 weeks to comment on this document which lays out the plans for their homes, parks, health, education,small businesses, and community services in the area for the next 10 -15 years.
Each site is given 2 A4 pages in the document. The first half of the page gives the details about where the property is with the second half of the same page incorporating a short paragraph about each of these three issues: 'Description', 'Justification' and 'Design Principles'. The second page gives a vague shadow drawing of a huge block or blocks in the place of the current buildings.
There are repeated justifications for redevelopment; that the buildings are poorly built, internal design problems, or poor design and construction. Some of the justifications to tear down buildings are absurd such as "there is a lack of clarity about what is the front or the back of the property" (Crone and Zangwill) or the property "is currently in a prominent gateway position and the current development does not capitalise on this" (William Dunbar and William Saville Houses). Any idea of refurbishment is brushed aside as not viable. On the basis of this paltry and inadequate information people are expected to agree to a massive reconstruction of their lives. The end result is unclear. Certainly this document gives very little information about it. Further, much of the detail about the buildings in the document is inaccurate calling into question the accuracy of the whole document and its legal status.
We, the people of South Kilburn, reject this document for 2 reasons. Firstly, the bad process and secondly, loss of trust in what the Council are doing and why. With regard to the process, the length of the consultation coupled with the importance makes it unable to be agreed in the time period. To read the plans and think what they mean in this the time period is far too short. The vagueness of the document along with the inaccuracies make it virtually meaningless and allow the Council to do anything in South Kilburn, making any idea of a consultation farcical. Most important the vision is not the vision of the people of South Kilburn. It is an imposed vision whose prime purpose is to maximize housing.