Sunday 8 April 2018

Wembley's frantic development: For better or worse?

Olympic Way. Public realm works are in  progress
Once in a while I like to give my Friends from the South (the south of Brent that is) a photographic update on the development around Wembley Stadium and now increasingly in Wembley High Road. It may also enable local Wembley people to keep track of these rapid developments.

Civic Centre/Olympic Way)
New blocks have narrowed the view of the Stadium
Once visible from Olympic Way, the Civic Centre is now only glimpsed between the blocks
The Pedway, soon to be replacd by steps, new build on right
The open space is now over-shadowed
Another block rises at the side of the stadium

The Civc Centre veranda used to have a view of the stadium...
Ever closer proximity
Near Wembley Stadium station
Mahatma Gandhi House, Wembley Hil Road, has been demolished. A 10/21 storey block is to be built here
Opposite, Cottrell House has been demolished, 9 storey block here
York House, Wembley Hill Road, an Ark primary free school to be built on the car park

Flats replacing Brent House on the High Road, stretch back to new Ark Elvin site
Playing fields at Ark Elvin, the academy  that replaced Copland High
Former green space set aside for Elsely Primary School expansion
The new Ark Elvin building. The old building on the High Road will be demolished & replaced with flats & retail
'Luxury' apartments on the High Road
Crane in place at junction of High Road and Park Lane. The 'Twin Towers' will be two and a half times as tall as the block to the left...
...and just three storeys short of the West Hendon tower that can be seen for miles
For relief, something on a human scale - Chalkhill Park


Unknown said...

Nice job! Astonishing to see it all put together. Is it good or bad for Wembley? Classically, all economic activity is presumed to be good, even if--as here--most of the benefits by-pass Wembley's job seekers in the short term. In the long term, we have to hope that this new round of building leads to better employment prospects, better facilities, and a happier, more fulfilled population. Will it? I tend to be sceptical about these things, because the greater density of building means a greater density of people and it is most unlikely that Brent will ever put the infrastructure in place to support that density. There can't be more roads, and the existing roads can't be made wider, so greater road usage will mean worse, not better, transportation. Ditto with the rail links. And it is hugely unlikely that the supply of other basic utilities--water, electricity, gas, sewage--will ever be increased pro rata to the demand. At the same time, the physical condition of much of the owner-occupied housing in less well-off parts of the borough isn't great; buildings from the 1910s to the 40s are now entering a phase of decay, and it takes quite some investment to bring them up to scratch (and where this is being done, it is often at the cost of those buildings' more important architectural features--a heritage tragedy). Tenanted properties are in an even worse state, because landlords see little reason to invest profits in maintenance. There is no reason to think, then, that the new flats will survive more than ten years without becoming physically distressed, and as they decline, so the forces of decline will multiply and accelerate. The only thing that can save Wembley is the introduction of some new element that brings a new factor than enhances its prospects. I see none on the horizon. I think that Brent has missed endless opportunities to exploit the stadium, and has foolishly committed itself to a programme of commercial development that now makes that exploitation almost impossible. The one chance that remains is for a CPO of the south-east corner of the trading estate and the creation of a massive sports academy and campus--Britain's national sports university, perhaps. Along with that, Wembley needs to be rebranded, with Wembley Park station renamed something like Stadium City and sad little Neasden station--potentially the gateway to the new university--rebranded as, for example, Sports University. But does anyone have the vision to do this? Dr Stephen Games

once Wembleyite said...

Just looking at these photographs makes me feel ill and claustrophobic. The only people to benefit from all this is the people Making Money out of it.

Grace Brown said...

There is also the plan to knock down the Preston Road Community Library at the corner of Preston Road and Carlton Avenue East and replace it with a block of flats . With more traffic and parking etc. Money money money !!

Paul Lorber said...

The motivation by Labour Councillors for all these ever taller high rise blocks is money. according to the 2018 Budget report (Capital section) Brent Council expects to receive around £100 million in CIL (Community Infrastructure Levy) money from developers. As the Labour Scandal of the £17.8 million handed to Quintain for the Wembley steps shows the Council is not very good at investing this money on what the area needs or local people want. The backlog of repairs to dangerous pavements and potholed roads is claimed to be £100 million (email to me from the Director of Highways) but there is no plan to invest the CIL on this and still no evidence of any improvements to the congested Wembley roads. The big tragedy is that most of the new flats being built are not meant for local people as the prices or rents are not affordable. Despite all the high rise building going on Brent Council still looks after around 2,500 homeless families placed in temporary accommodation. As things stand local people face living on a building site for the next 20 years without visible improvements to their environment in their own streets for many years to come. Sensible Councillors would surely have had the common sense to deal with residents frustrations by fixing the crumbling roads & pavements in Wembley High Road and the streets around it rather than handing £17.8 million of taxpayers money to a private developer for the steps to Wembley Stadium.

Anonymous said...

It's being replaced with flats and a new library building designed between the council and the friends group.

Martin Francis said...

I have received this comment by email on the impact of regeneration work in the Wembley High Road area: I wouldlike to comment on the increase in air pollution is having on my health as someone who suffers from Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder (COPD) the amount of dust particles flying around and increase in HGV traffic adding to normal gridlock on the high road along with increased carbon emissions, especially Cement Lorries on the high road is unprecedented. Delivering to Montrose Crescent Development, Brent House, Chesterfield House is unbelievable. Add to the fact they have removed all of the mature trees outside Brent House and Ark Elvin Site along with the South side of the Chiltern Line it is now very noticeable. Cleaning the windows is now becoming a weekly task, even when I don't open the windows the dust in my house is unmanageable on a daily basis.
The only plus is I am not suffering alone, god know's what effect this is having on young childrens health going to and from school, especially those attending St Josephs RC Primary and Ark Elvin which are practically on top of Brent House, and children going to Park Lane primary, albeit they are next to the park.