Tuesday, 5 January 2021

New youth provision for Wembley at York House car park site now new primary school no longer needed?


The York House car park, Empire Way

Next week's Brent Cabinet will consider  moves to establish an Onside Youth Zone centre at the York House car park site in Wembley.


The site was earmarked for a new primary school, the Ark Somerville, but the project has been dropped by the Department for Education for the present, due to falling school rolls in the area.


The DfE would need to be released from its obligation to Quintain to provide the school under Section 106 and could then sell the site on the open market or directly to Brent Council.


The officers report LINK describes what happens at Onside Youth Zones:


Youth Zones provide “somewhere to go, something to do and someone to talk to” and aim to be safe, supportive and affordable places where young people can spend their free time constructively. Targeting young people aged 8-19, and up to 25 with additional needs, Youth Zones provide large-scale multi-activity facilities which typically include multi-use 3G pitches, indoor sports hall, climbing wall, gym, music, dance and performing arts facilities and café, along with flexible spaces that can respond to young people’s changing needs and preferences.


Given the size of the site some of that provision would not be possible but it would still be a facility that would help make up for some of the youth provision cut by Brent Council. 


As Brent Youth Centres  were cut for financial reasons it is worth looking at where the Council  now expect funding to come from:

Running costs

SCIL = Strategic Community Infrastructure Levy

MTFS = Medium Term Financial Strategy

The charity Onside Youth runs a centre in nearby Barnet. You can read about it HERE


Philip Grant said...

New youth facilities provision for young people in Brent would be great, after so many years of existing centres being closed.

The end of the totally flawed idea to put a primary school on this site is also to be welcomed.

But what about Quintain's obligation, under its masterplan agreement with Brent, to provide a new school as part of its redevelopment of Wembley Park?

That school was originally meant to be a part of the north-east area of the development, one of the final parts of its "estate" to be developed. By that time, the number of new homes in the 20+ year redevelopment proposals would mean that what was originally to be called "Wembley City" would house a large enough population of families with children to need a school.

With Brent Council's (tacit?) agreement, they switched the proposed school site to the York House car park as part of a "variation" of the hybrid masterplan in 2015, with so many other changes that the switch was hardly noticed at the time.

There is an opportunity to reinstate a site, reserved for a future primary school, in a far more suitable site, next door to the new public park which Quintain are creating to the north of Engineers Way.

Right now there is another "variation" of the masterplan planning application, at ref. 20/2844, with plans for the new park and blocks of flats around it, on the site of the former Retail Park between Engineers Way, Rutherford Way and Fulton Road. This is currently out for further consultation, until 25 January, because of some amended plans submitted last month.

In view of the York House site for the school (which Quintain pledged to provide) being ditched, I will object to application 20/2844, on the grounds that part of the site should be set aside as a primary school site, and not have yet another tall block of flats built on it.

Anonymous said...

The masterplan already includes provision for tall buildings and the park in the former retail park (current Yellow Car Park). This new variation is to make these tall buildings even taller than previously agreed (almost doubling the height in some cases) with no public benefit aside from more flats.

The masterplan has slowly been eroded away with these variations and, as can be seen from the new plans, the approach now is to squeeze as much height as possible with minimal wider benefit to the local community.

The recent revision also includes moving the buildings on the western edge further east, thus encroaching on the planned park.