Wednesday 10 June 2020

Sudbury Town Station planning application rejected, Ujima House and North Brent School approved

After a lengthy discussion Brent Planning Committee again rejected the TfL application for a development of 'pocket homes' on the car park at Sudbury Town Station. Despite a £600k offer by the developer towards the build costs of 6 three bedroomed homes outside the area, the committee stuck to their original objection on grounds of lack of family homes for the site itself,  the loss of the car park and its impact on acessiblity for people with protected characteristics; and the applications lack of compliance with Local and London plans. Three members of the public and two councillors made very persuasive presentations opposing the application.

Cllr Denselow abstained. Cllrs Hylton and Chappel voted for the application and the four other committee members against.

The Ujima House discussion was a real mish mash.  The owner of Lanmore House and Jaine Lunn occupant of a neighbouring house on Ecclestone Place, were represented and it emerged that a 'letter before claim' against the Council, who are the developer, had been issued. The committee were told by the Council legal officer that the Council had complied with all regulations and that appeared to be the end of that.

Inaccuracies in the officers' report were highlighted concerning the height of the building and the number of windows in adjoining buildings affected, and the committee were told that the architect had failed to get back to the Council about a query, but all this was deftly passed over.  The issue of a weight restriction of 15 tons on the entrance to Ecclestone Place was brushed aside with an assurance that if necessary lorries could access the site from Wembley High Road (traffic jams!)

The committee were told that this was just an outline application and detailed issues could be dealt with at a later date.

The application was approved.

The Executive Headteacher of the Wembley Multi-Academy Trust after initial zoom problems gave a confident presentation on its plans for a new school on Neasden Lane, currently called North Brent School, although it is on the south side of the North Circular.

However, after she had left the meeting some confusion arose over the catchment area of the school as it emerged that pupils would be travelling to the site from North Wembley as the school is currently housed on the Wembley High School site.  The new site would open at the end of 2021 so the children on the current site would have to travel down. One officer muttered something about issue of the school  catchment should have come up earlier and councillors seemed unsure if the new school when fully open would serve the local area or continue to be populated by pupils from the North Wembley area.   Clearly it would be better in terms of Green School Travel Plans if the catchment was local and the area does lack its own non-denominational school.

The new school will be 6 forms of entry so will generate a lot of trips and transport was the main issue discussed. An earlier plan to have 4 coaches travel down to the school from North Wembley had been opposed by TfL and was reduced to one, so pupils will have to travel by public transport either  on the tube, by bus or by cycle. The 297 route would be beefed up in consultation with TfL and the 245 was also mentioned but that only goes as far as Neasden shopping centre before turning off towards Staples Corner. One councillor raised concerns about children from different schools milling around at the Neasden interchange where there were already problems.

It appears that on one side of the borough we will have children travelling north from Harlesden and Stonebridge to Ark Elvin and on the other children travelling south from North Wembley to Neasden Lane!

The one decision made (apart from  approving the application) was to  call for 172 cycle parking places to be provided in the initial phase of the building. No one queried whether cycling to the school would be safe.

Recording of Committee HERE

1 comment:

Jaine Lunn said...

Great Win for Sudbury campaigners but with regard to Ujima and Neasden sites once again Brent Planning department choose which pieces of legislation and guidelines apply to them to the extent of accepting some scenarios which are in clear breach of their policies and regulations.

The latest example I have read is that the huge plain tree that sits on the corner of Cecil Avenue at the junction with the High Road and has A TREE PRESERVATION ORDER on it is now being discussed for removal by the developer of the site in front of Ark Elvin Academy. As one of the last remaining trees on the High Road we need to stop this from happening.