Monday 26 June 2017

Has Gladstone Parade had its chips?

Not if local residents have their way. Six hundred and sixtyone  people have signed a petition opposing the loss of the fish and chip shop on Gladstone Parade, Edgware Road, which they fear would go if the site is redeveloped and other ojections have been lodged including over-development of the site; loss of light, amenity and health; low level of affordable housing proposed, parking and the recurring theme in Brent of lack of consultation.

The planning application is due to be discussed at Wednesday’s Planning Committee and in a controversial move Cllr Muhammed Butt is due to visit Gladstone Parade this evening at 6pm. The move is controversial because the Planning Committee is independent of the Council by statute and political interference in its deliberations is illegal.  Butt was able to make representations in the Wembley Stadium application on the basis that he was representing residents in his Tokyngton ward - this is not the case with this application.

Responding to concerns over the potential loss of the pub and fish and chip shop Brent planners state:
The pub will be reprovided as well as two units that could potentially house a shop due to their use class and a unit will be provided that could provide a replacement fish and chip shop. 

Given that there are likely to be issues of affordability regarding the new units this leaves little certainty and representations against the application will be made on Wednesday.

Cllr Liz Dixon, responding to a resident’s objections wrote:

Thank you for taking the time to draft and send this comprehensive overview of your objections to the proposed redevelopment plan of Gladstone Parade.

I can reassure you that we have been following this development closely. We are acutely aware that many in the local community are extremely distressed as they anticipate the consequences of the new development. From my point of view I can see that the development in Barnet looms over the area and this must heighten the concern. That said there are some benefits to be had for the community with the new development apart from new housing ; there is space for the chip shop and the shop and the pub. 

Even limited social housing in non high rise is attractive in a borough which desperately need more social housing. As a local councillor most of my case work is focused on those who are homeless or overcrowded and we often have to send residents out of London.

We have visited the shops and visited the planning offices in the council to raise all the objections and to learn more about the project. They have modified the plans and there are facilities to accommodate the new shops which will be housed in any new development. However that may not be enough.

We are due to visit the shops with the Leader of the Council before the matter goes to planning to ensure we are all aware of the ongoing concerns of local residents like yourself.
Again thank you very much for taking the time to highlight local concerns
and issues.

The matter is before planning this week where the concerns will be heard and considered. I have been at planning meetings before and can vouch for the rigour of the offices in ensuring that they do take into consideration all the concerns. This is where the local community does have an opportunity to make their concerns heard. I agree with you that in light of the horrific tragedy at the Grenfell towers all councils must ensure they are really listening to their residents who have knowledge and well placed concerns such as those expressed in your email.


Philip Grant said...

"High hopes for shopping parades" - one of the headlines on the front cover of the new Summer 2017 edition of the Brent Magazine.

The article inside, with lots of photos (including one of the Council Leader and other smiling councillors with business owners from Wembley High Road) tells of all the good work Brent Council is doing for local shopping centres. It includes another headline: 'We are working with businesses, communities and residents to make our high streets rich and vibrant places.'

I wonder if the people around Gladstone Parade would agree with that statement?


Alison Hopkins said...

No we sodding well wouldn't Philip!

Butt didn't show, some kind of family emergency it seems.

The three councillors actually did, and met with "community representatives". That would be me, a bloke from Dollis Hill Avenue and a very nice woman in a motorised wheelchair, who they ignored. I'm sure more would have come if anyone had told them.

Weve been fighting this since February. I think the councillors have finally got off the fence, but I'm unconvinced they get how important those little shops are. At least this time they aren't speaking in favour of the application, against residents.

The hairdresser has been there fifty years, same owner. The Londis owner is a lovely bloke, the chippie is brilliant.

But it's all about the money.