The Alperton bus garage develpment next to Alperton station (21, 25, and 28 storeys)
The proposed blocks on the Access Storage site on First Way, Wembley Park
The block heights are up to 24 storeys
The blocks in the stadium context
Two planning applications are coming back to Brent Planning Committee on Wednesday at 4pm (VIEW HERE) that together comprise 12 tower blocks with the tallest at 28 storeys at Alperton bus station and the tallest at First Way Wembley 25 storeys. For comparison the tallest of the Wembley 'Twin Towers' on the corner of Park Lane and Wembley High Road is 26 storeys.
Both schemes are recommended for approval by Brent Planning officers. The proposed housing on the Alperton Bus Garage site is distributed as follows:
The controversy continues over shared ownership and the amount is likely to feature in tomorrow's discussion as well as shortfall in amenity space. After extensive discussion of the issues Planning Officer conclude:
Following the above discussion, officers consider that taking the development plan as a whole, the proposal is considered to accord with the development plan, and having regard to all material planning considerations, should be approved subject to conditions.
Whilst the provision of external amenity space falls short of Brent's policy standard, this is considered to be adequately compensated for by the overall quality of the amenity space provided and by the site’s close proximity to One Tree Hill Recreation Ground, to which a financial contribution would be secured.
Whilst the GLA consider the proposal would cause harm to the setting of Alperton Station, such harm is less than substantial, and the benefits of the scheme clearly outweigh the harm. The proposal is considered to respond well to the proposed Growth Area site allocation including the aimof developing an enterprise hub and co-locating new industrial floorspace with residential development in this highly accessible location in the centre of Alperton
The Access Storage First Way, Wembley development has the following residential pattern:
The total affordable at 10% is very low and Discount Market Rent is 80% of market rent so not affordable to most Brent residents. There are also issue of loss of daylight to neighbouring properties and lack of amenity space. Failure to meet
Planning officers conclude:
Following the above discussion, officers consider that taking the development plan as a whole, the proposal is considered to accord with the development plan, and having regard to all material planning considerations, should be approved subject to conditions and completion of a Section 106 Agreement.
The development would provide a suitable and attractive built addition to the Wembley Park growth area in line with local policy allocation objectives, creating a mixed-use development with 600 BTR homes and replacement office and self-storage floorspace. At between 12 and 24 storeys, the proposed heights are appropriate in this location, and the transition to scale and massing away from the Stadium is considered to respect the aims of the WAAP and Local Plan policies. Furthermore, there would be non detrimental impact to key strategic views to Wembley Stadium arch.
There would be some limited level of harm to the daylight and sunlight enjoyed at adjoining properties, however this is considered minimal given the high-density urban context. The provision of a significant quantum of replacement employment floorspace and a high number of new homes, with significantly more of those homes being secured as affordable units than the Council would deem viable is a significant planning benefit that carries significant weight.
Whilst the scheme does fall short on external amenity space standards set out in Policy DMP19, the overall quality of accommodation is considered to be good and must be considered against the wider benefits of the scheme including affordable housing, significantly improved public realm and the ability to widen South Way to incorporate two-way working. As such, the conflict with adopted and emerging policy is limited and would be outweighed by the wider benefits of the mixed-use re-development, including there-provision of a high-quality employment floorspace, and an adequate level of affordable housing.
Following the above discussion, and weighing up all aspects of the proposal, officers consider that the proposal should be approved subject to conditions and a Section 106 agreement.
The Alperton developers will pay £13,450,282 in Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) and developers of First Way, Wembley £16,217,198
'Officers consider that taking the development plan as a whole, the proposal is considered to accord with the development plan ....'
Same words in both reports, same old story.
Far too many homes on packed sites, insufficient amenity space, far too few affordable homes. "Conflicts" with adopted policies dismissed as 'acceptable', or 'outweighed by the wider benefits'.
According to the Access Storage / First Way report: 'The development would provide a suitable and attractive built addition to the Wembley Park growth area in line with local policy allocation objectives.'
I was visiting Wembley Park today, and I'm increasingly finding it an UNattractive built environment. OK, there are some trees, but it is not a place where I would have liked to raise a family, or to live now, in retirement.
I realise that I am "spoilt", living on a typical 1930s suburban estate, but I feel that parts of Brent, such as Alperton and Wembley Park, are being turned into concrete jungles.
Future residents may live to regret the current interpretation of Brent's development plan and planning policies by the Council's Planning Officers.
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