Brent Council will be consulting with residents on the St Raphael's Estate next Friday on their plans to redevelop the estate. St Raphael's will be the first estate where residents will be balloted on the changes.
Concerns have been expressed on social media over possibilities of gentrification and social cleansing with private housing being built on the estate to help pay for the redevelopment. There are also worries over the potential for the loss of green space, not just in the area surrounding the estate which stretches to the River Brent, but within the estate itself. People are aware of what happened in West Hendon with private developments next to the Welsh Harp reservoir and social housing close to the poor air quality main road. St Raphael's borders on the heavily polluted North Circular.
Another issue is the need to ensure the future of the premises of various community groups, nurseries, children's centre and the Sufra Foodbank and Edible Garden if new blocks are to be built requiring additional land.
St Raphael's Estate is on a flood plain for the River Brent. There are artificial hillocks between the river and the estate which protects it to some extent but locals speak of underground springs in the area. They suggest that this could limit any high rise developments. There was flooding in the area in the 1970s.
With climate change underway the flood risk is clearly something to be considered. This is the longer term risk from the Environment Agency: