Sunday, 16 May 2021

Edwards Yard – a name that’s part of Alperton’s heritage: let's retain it

Guest post by Philip Grant


One of the large schemes approved at Brent’s Planning Committee meeting in February 2021 was for a mixed-use redevelopment of the Abbey Manufacturing Estate and Edwards Yard, at Mount Pleasant in Alperton. I’ve since found out how Edwards Yard got its name. This is the story behind it, and the reason why that name should be retained in the new development.


1.   Aerial impression of the Abbey Estate development. (From application 20/3156 drawings, with notes added)


My quest began when I was seeking information about another Alperton business, Cousland & Browne, to help answer a local history query I’d received. They had been timber merchants, beside the canal. One of the answers I received was from Diane, whose father used to deliver timber for them. She remembered, along with her mother, going in the lorry with him all the way to Saundersfoot in Wales, on one of those trips in the late 1950s.


2.   Cousland & Browne advert. (From Curley’s Directory of Wembley. 1956)


The Paddington branch of the Grand Junction (now Grand Union) Canal opened in 1801. It cut its way through the village of Alperton, and helped bring lots of trade and small canal side industries to this mainly rural part of Middlesex. Bricks, gravel and hay were sent into London, while rubbish and other waste products were brought out to be processed. The boiling of food waste to feed the pigs at three farms, and the manufacture of oil and manure from fish refuse meant that Alperton had a smelly reputation in late Victorian times! 


3.   A busy canal wharf at Alperton, 1923. (From Geoffrey Hewlett’s “Wembley”)


Diane’s grandfather, John William Edwards, was born in Wembley in 1869. By the early 1900s he was employed as the farm bailiff at Clyde Vale Farm. He lived in Alperton Cottage, at the eastern end of Honeypot Lane (later renamed Mount Pleasant), where the rear entrance to Lyon Park School is now. He and his wife had a number of children, including Diane’s father, David, who was born in the cottage in 1909.


By the early 1920s, John Edwards was trading as a haulage contractor. His sons Albert, Henry and David joined him in what became the family business of J. Edwards & Sons. At first it was horse-drawn carts, and as well as general haulage the jobs they took on included delivering materials to Wembley Park, for construction of the Empire Stadium and some of the British Empire Exhibition buildings.

4.  J. Edwards & Sons horse and cart, 1920s.


In 1923, the sports equipment manufacturers, Charles Webber & Co, had purchased a 5-acre site in Honeypot Lane, formerly the Alperton Park brickfields. The following year they sold a plot of land to John Edwards, as he needed a larger base for his business. The rest of the Webber’s land became the Abbey Trading Estate.


Edwards built a house, with stables for 11 horses in a yard behind it, in 1925. “Meadow View”, soon to be addressed as 122 Mount Pleasant, was beside a row of workers’ cottages built by Alperton’s Victorian entrepreneur, Henry Haynes. In 1931, John Edwards bought more land behind the cottages, creating the site which has been known as Edwards Yard ever since. 


5.   John with one of his horses at Edwards Yard, 1930s.


The extra land was used to build garages for the firm’s growing number of lorries. The family home, where John Edwards lived for the rest of his life, was also where the business was run from. A sign on the front of the house read:


Meadow View
J Edwards & Sons
Motor & Horse Transport Contractors
Phone Wembley 1922

6.   John Edwards with one of his sons, sitting on the running board of a lorry, 1930s.


The rapid expansion of suburban estate building in Wembley and surrounding areas, from the mid-1920s onwards, meant that J Edwards & Sons were rarely short of work. John Edwards finally retired from the business in 1943, gifting it and the yard to his three sons. After the end of the war their lorries were busy, both with general haulage work and clearing of bomb-damaged sites.


Henry Edwards retired from the partnership in 1954. As not all of the yard was still needed, some of the garage buildings were rented to other small businesses. David was left running the business by himself once Albert retired in 1963. He kept on transporting goods and clearing rubbish from local factories, with several lorries and a couple of employed drivers, until he retired in 1967 and the haulage business ceased. After that, all of Edwards Yard was let out to small businesses, many of which operated from there for decades.


7.   An artist’s view of the Abbey Estate development, with the potential new Edwards Yard on the left.
(From planning application 20/3156 drawings)


The yard stayed in the ownership of the Edwards family until it was finally sold to Zedhomes Limited in 2019. Now Diane has asked the developer to retain the Edwards name as part of the new development. A block of four houses is planned to be built on the site of the old yard. Edwards Yard would be an ideal name for these, to remember a place that has been a part of Alperton’s heritage for nearly 100 years!

Philip Grant (with thanks to Diane for the information and Edwards family photos).

Thursday, 13 May 2021

Should Barham Park Trust Committee be protecting the open space from over-development of its two covenanted houses?


The Barham Park houses 


The Trustees of the Barham Park Trust are all Brent Council Cabinet members: Cllr Muhammed Butt, Cllr Thomas Stephens, Cllr Margaret McLennan, Cllr Harbi Farah and Cllr Krupa Sheth. 

Cllr Butt has joined the Barham Park Trust Committee since their last meeting in September 2020 and from the listing on the Council's website appears to have taken over from Cllr McLennan as Chair. I have found no public explanation for this change.

The Barham Park Trust Committee is 'responsible for the trustee functions in relation to Barham  Parham Park Trust, including taking decisions on the disposal of land, varying or ceasing the charitable purpose and changing the trust.'

 So pretty powerful...

This  is significant as one would expect the Trust Committee to defend the Barham Park Open Space from development if it is to ensure the protecting of Titus Barham's 'enduring gift' to the people of Brent, and of course there is a proposal to replace the two houses (above) with a much larger development (below).


The Restrictive Covenants on the houses (776 and 778 Harrow Road) suggest the proposals infringe the conditions:

Restrictive Covenants as filed with the Land Registry and belonging to the Barham Trust on 776 Harrow Road (778 is the same)



Restrictive covenants by the Transferee


The Transferee covenants with the Transferor pursuant to Section 16 Greater London Council (General Powers) Act 1974 and Section 33 Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions Act) 1982 to observe and perform the restrictions contained in clause 12.4.2 ('The Restrictions') and it is agreed and declared that:

the benefit of this covenant is to be attached to and enure for each and every part of the Retained Land that remains unsold by the Transferor or has been sold by the Transferor (or by any person claiming through the Transferor otherwise than by a transfer on sale) with the express benefit of this covenant

the burden of this covenant is intended to bind and binds each and every part of the Property into whosoever hands it may come

an obligation in the Restrictions not to do any act or thing includes an obligation not to permit or suffer that act or thing to be done by another person


The Restrictions are the following: 

not to use the Property otherwise than as a single private dwelling house and the garage for any purpose other than as a ancillary private garage 

not to divide the Property into two or more dwellings or residential units 

not to erect or cause to be erected on the Property any building or structure whatsoever except a greenhouse or shed of not greater length than 4 metres and of not greater height than 3 metres or permit or suffer any person under the Transferor's control to do so 

not to stand or support any vehicle, commercial vehicle trailer, mobile home, caravan, trailer, cart or boat on any part of the Property, and 

not to carry out any development within the meaning of Section 55 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 in or upon the Property 

not to park any motor vehicle on or otherwise obstruct any part of the accessway hatched yellow and hatched green or any part of the Retained Land at any time


Positive covenants by the Transferee

The Transferee covenants on behalf of itself and its successors in title with the Transferor and its successors in title to the Retained Land for the benefit of the Retained Land and each and every part of the Retained Land and with the Transferor pursuant to Section 16 Greater London Council (General Powers) Act 1974 and Section 33 Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions Act) 1982


to contribute and pay within 14 days of demand (ll) fifty percent (50%) of the reasonable and proper cost of maintaining repairing and (where necessary) renewing the accessway shown hatched yellow on the Plan

(b) a fair and due proportion of the reasonable and proper cost of maintaining repairing and (where necessary) renewing sewers drains pipes cables party walls and all other structures apparatus or installations which service the Property in common with any neighbouring or adjoining property


to maintain repair and renew at all times hereafter to the satisfaction of Transferor

a good and sufficient metal palisade fence and timber fence or wall on any of the boundaries of the Property marked with ''T'' (if any) within the boundaries of the said plan.

the pathway hatched brown stippled red and the accessway hatched green stippled red on the Plan to a reasonable standard


not to transfer the Property or grant a lease of the Property or the Transferee's freehold estate in the Property or any other estate or interest in it to any person without first ensuring that the person has executed a deed directly with Transferor and its successors in title to the Retained Land for the benefit of each and every part of the Retained Land containing the covenants and provisions of clause 12.5. mutatis mutandis including this present covenant 12.5.3.


Well clearly the proposed block of flats is not a greenhouse or shed...


 The entry from the Land Registry is embedded below and I am sure will be of interest to those opposing the plans. (Click bottom right for full page)


Couple retire from Barnhill Post Office after being an essential part of the community for 42 years


Barnhill  Newsagents and Post Office, Grand Parade, Wembley

'Community Hubs' are trendy these days but the Barnhill Post Office and Newsagents on Grand Parade, Wembley Park has been an unassuming community hub for 42 years where Pravin and Sheila Gadhia have served the local community quietly and diligently.

They have written to customers informing them that they have sold the business and will be retiring later this month.  In the letter, headed 'A Tough Farewell',  they say that their business has been created through the support of customers and this is embedded in its underlying culture.  They assure their customers that the new owners recognise that the price they are paying for the business includes 'a premium for the goodwill that has been created through our built, trusted and good relationships with our existing customers, and so they are keen to ensure that they protect and value by working hard and keeping our customers happy.'

Pravin and Sheila will stay on for a while as part of a transition agreement and this will give a customers, many of whom they know by name,  to voice their appreciation.

The couple conclude their letter by thanking their customers for 'continued support which has truly touched our hearts in no way that words can explain.'

In a Wembley Park that has seen many changes, particularly in the last few years, Pravin and Sheila have been part of the cement that holds us together.  They will be greatly missed.

Sudbury Town RA says consultation extension to May 14th over Barham Park development is not good enough as Sudbury councillors object to the development


The Sudbury Town Residents Association has come back to Brent Council after it failed to agree to recognise it as a Statutory Consultee and provide a 21-day consultation period.


The residents’ association had written to Brent Council asking that in the interests of openness, transparency, community engagement and positive working relations that the Council LINK:


1.     Withdraw the Public Consultation immediately

2.     Upload the Statutory Consultee Comments on the Brent Planning Portal

3.     Provide the STRA with the 21-day consultation period as required by statute

The Statutory Consultee Comments have still not been uploaded for the public to consider. Today's screen grab:




Since the publicity about the application two Sudbury ward councillors have made comments on the Council Planning Portal:

Member for Sudbury Ward, Members Room, Brent Civic Centre (Objects)

Comment submitted date: Mon 10 May 2021

Comments of Councillor Mary Daly in response to statuary consultation by Brent Planning Department to application 21/1106

The park keepers Cottages in Barham Park was built to provide accommodation for workers maintaining the unique park with diverse habitat and historic features.
The Park no longer had park keepers the empty cottages were sold The Barham Trust in 2012 to fund maintenance pf the park.
Since that time the new owner has submitted a number planning applications for the redevelopment of the site.
As a local Councillor the majority of my residents have supported sustainable developing of the cottages.
Two applications have been approved '16/1209, 17/5067 but clearly not built out.
Two applications (14/2078), 19/0788) refused because of their detrimental impact on Barham Park
It is concerning and puzzling that the applicant claims the receipt of extensive preapplication advice and that that advise was that 'that the principal of the development is acceptable'
Barham Park is not an asset owned by Brent Council but is a bequest to the people of Wembley (subsequently the London Borough of Brent) to be managed on the people's behalf by Brent Council.
The site in question is within the curtilage of Historic Barham Park. It is not as suggested in a densely built up area. The nearest taller buildings are across the busy Harrow Rd in Barham Village. The Harrow Rd acts as a border between Barham Park and the residential streets.
There are no other tall buildings within the Curtilage of the park and as pointed out less than two years ago in 19/0788 when refusing permission on that occasion ' the an inappropriate height associated with bulk and massing would appear prominent and have a negative impact on the open nature of the park setting'
Application 21/1106
Application 21/1106 is also four stories four stories In addition to being tall it is also sprawling with balconies reaching to and possibly beyond the development boundaries. ( the report is not specific but illustrations suggests it)'
The building extends beyond four stories and is out of character because there appears to be s pergola like structure and a garden on the roof '(again the report is not specific but illustrations suggest it)
The Developer claims to be bringing the character of suburban Sudbury into the park when describing its design. The park however has a different history and purpose with buildings reminding park users of the area's nineteenth/early twentieth century farming past. for example the eighteenth/ nineteenth century buildings, the walled gardens and walkways.
The extensive cover of trees includes as the almost 300 year old mulberry tree. And a very old plane tree. The historic park is a space residents go to walk and contemplate (it is common to see people sitting on the many benches in the park), enjoying the extensive natural life in the park or playing and exercising.

Application 21/110
The new application invites Brent Planning to consider a four story sprawling building with the additional element of a car park within the curtilage of Barham Park on the application site
The Car Park and Parking on the site
It would be unwise to assume that the car park is for the sole benefit of the future residents of the Proposed development. It is common in such developments to seek parking simply to sell it to enhance the profit to be gained from the development. The addition of a six place car park on an historic Barham Park seems even more incoherent when considering the applicant argued for the benefits of the site in terms of its excellent public transport links. The site (4x2 beds, 3x3 beds 2x4 beds) normally warrants 11/12 parking spaces. There is no discussion about the parking needs of all the car owning potential residents (up to 40 people) were the application to be granted.
This will raise demand for on street Parking. The applicant and planners may argue the surrounding streets can absorb the amount of off on street parking generated by the development .
That is not the case because the regeneration of Barham Village where parking was sacrificed to a larger number of housing units the majority of whom are permit free resulting in a very large overspill into neighbouring streets.
The accelerating breakup of family homes in the area into Houses of multiple occupation or flats
Commuter parking
Shopper parking
Further developments already approved 18/3069 is also permit free and 19\1241 (currently being appealed) will rely on onstreet parking if built out.
The applicant has further failed to provide disabled parking as required by policy
It appears the applicant has not considered the incongruity of creating a car park within the curtilage of an historic park.
The Applicant pretty much dismissed the existence of Bats on Barham Park, however the Boroughs own SINC Review 2014. suggests evidence of species of bat was recorded some years earlier. And recommended that 'until further survey work is done the precautionary principal should be used and the site considered as a bat foraging site' it is unclear if that work has ever been done.
Species supported by habitat in Barham Park includes reptiles, birds, invertebrates, foraging as well as possibly roosting bats were reported by the 2014 SINC report .
The bird species observed at the time of the report in the area nearest the proposed development site include Long tailed tits, starlings, ring necked parakeets. A resident a very experienced Ornithologist reported seeing the rarer lesser spotted woodpecker within the last few months.
The tree species sited nearest to the proposed development within the park includes Horse Chestnut, London Plane and 'Willow. the developer makes reference to a mature Cedar of Lebanon to the front of the site whose canopy is acknowledged to be only meter from the balconies of some of the proposed flats.
The applicant also acknowledges that there are nesting birds within the site.
There is no description of the proposed development in relation to the rear perimeter of the proposed development but illustrations seem to show balconies reaching beyond the rear fence. What is clear is that Barham Park with its hundreds of trees is home to a diverse habitat which have not properly been surveyed and the preliminary surveys presented by the developer is not acceptable. The planning department must request more comprehensive independent surveys to establish the impact of such a dense development especially on that very vulnerable section of the park.
The population of the New Development
The development would see for the first time since the park was bequeathed to the people of Brent a population at least forty people living within the parks Curtilage. Driving to and from the site. attracting other vehicular activity on the site such as delivery vehicles etc . those impacts on the park has not been addressed Requiring large industrial sized waste disposal bins within the site.
The area immediately surrounding the proposed development on Barham Park is already degraded because it was used to store heavy materials and machinery to facilitate the regeneration of Barham Estate.
It is also subjected to heavy vehicles and machinery during Irving's Fair several times each year. the upshot is the section in question is compacted and degraded and subject to more flooding as a result. It is the first section of the park a visitor one sees approaching the park from Sudbury Town and one of the most frequently visited.
The prospect of more materials and heavy machinery further degrading the site as a result of further building on the curtilage of the park
The recent and proposed degradation of this section of the park is contrary to the bequest of the park for the enjoyment of the people of Brent. The area needs to be recovered not face another developer onslaught.
The Sudbury Neighbourhood Plan, a Brent Planning Policy is clear in its vision for Barham Park
'recognises the need to restore. Repair and improve existing landscaping in the park'
'Create enhanced eco -habitats for wildlife and educational purposes'
'the park contains a limited amount of play facilities and Play equipment. 'The consultation demonstrates there is a demand for improving and expanding the range and amount of sports and play facilities '
It needs to be recognised that the proposed development site is within the Curtilage of Barham Park and any development of the site needs to adhere to Sudbury Neighbourhood Plan because it echoes the objectives of the original bequest to entrust the Barham Park for the enjoyment of the people of Brent. The present proposal abutting a particularly degraded section of the park, risks further degradation of the ecology of a particularly prominent and used section of the park by introducing a car park onto the Curtilage of the park in an overdevelopment which is not intended to enhance the Park for the people of Brent.
The development
I am not able to comment on the development because there is insufficient information in the
oapplication relating to
The height of the building
The large balconies, their exact overhand,
the relationship of the building to the perimeter of the site,
the relationship of the site to Harrow Rd .
I will this week seek an appointment with Planning officers to view documents not in the application and reserve the right to make further comments if that is required.
Having imagined the building whilst on site it is clearly a dominant and overbearing feature and more inappropriate than 19/0788 because as well as being tall it is also more sprawling and introduces a car park within the Curtilage of Barham Park.
A brown field site
The characterisation of the former parkkeepers cottages as ' brown field land' without the context of its siting within the curtilage of Barham Park has caused particular offence amongst residents. It is recognised that the park keepers cottages have been unused for some years and that sustainable development is welcomed would enhance the Park.
A consistency of approach
Application 17/5067 was approved by Brent Planning. I consulted residents including Sudbury Town Residents Association Representatives during the consultation. It is worth noting there was no objections to the plan because there was unanimity in the community that the proposal was an enhancement of the site. This highlights the pragmatism of the local community who want sustainable development not high density development within the curtilage of Barham Park because it degrades heritage of Barham Park.
(The statement 'the site lies within the setting of the Holt Conservation area' is puzzling, as the Holt Conservation Area appears to be in Wrexham in Wales).
The National Planning Policy Frameworks PPG states that that 'where a proposal would lead to harm' there must be a demonstration of the proposals public benefits
Such demonstrations of public benefit
'should be of a nature or scale to be of benefit to the public at large and should not be a private benefit'
Application 21/1107 is clearly a private benefit to the applicant and any future residents of the site there is no benefit to the park users. For that reason alone it should be rejected
Brent Planners have already rejected a less dense less sprawling fourstory development (19/0788)
'the proposed development would incorporate an inappropriate height and associated bulk and massing that would appear prominent and have a negative impact on the open setting of the park'
Cllr Stevens and I were the only objectors on that occasion but our comments were informed by consultation with residents.
Whilst I appreciate the site is in private ownership and the developer has a right to submit the serious of planning applications the and have them considered by Brent Planning authority has a duty to consider them. Consideration must always be given to the fact it is within the Curtilage of Historic Barham Park a bequest to the People of Brent.
It is worth noting that consideration of the importance of Barham Park as a local heritage asset, its value to the health and wellbeing of the Boroughs peoples, Its fragile ecosystem, Its precious but vulnerable building has not been acknowledged.
The application is presented as the redevelopment of a brownfield site in an urban area inviting high density housing and car parking A readthrough of my comments demonstrates a united community pragmatic about improvement by sustainable development of the site but consistently resistant to dense overdevelopment because of the impact of the park they value so highly.
There is also consistency in the approach of Brent Planning in interpreting policy to the benefit of the park by accepting sustainable applications for the site and rejecting overdevelopment.
I request officers of the council refuse this application please

Member for Sudbury Ward, Members Room, Brent Civic Centre (Objects)

Comment submitted date: Mon 10 May 2021

Objection, Cllr Thomas Stephens, application 21/1106
To whom it may concern,
I am writing to lodge objections for application 21/1106 for consideration of the Planning Committee and Planning Department.
There have been a number of previous applications by the owner of the land on this existing site. Some, for relatively more modest developments, have been approved by the planning department with few-to-no representations from residents (16/1209, 17/5067). Other more intensive proposals for development (14/2078, 19/0788) have been refused by the planning department. Cllr Daly and myself were the only objectors to the latter.
I will now go through each of my concerns in turn. Some of these relate to material planning concerns, but as with many of my planning representations some of these relate to my wider concerns and observations about the particular sensitivities of this development given the area it is situated in, which I believe warrant closer scrutiny and discussion with the developer alongside concerned local residents and the planning department. Some of these could be addressed through securing strict conditions by the planning committee and department, and through assurances over the use of CIL contributions.

Impact on infrastructure and proposals for car parking space
This is perhaps my greatest concern about the development. At present the site serves just two households and there is relatively limited parking space, but this application as it stands proposes to increase this to six parking spaces to the rear of the property. In order to enhance car access the developer proposes to 'adjust kerb lines outside of [the] site ? to improve vehicular access, site lines and landscaping' [my emphasis] (see Design and Access Statement, page 15). The emphasis appears to be on adjusting the markings around the site in order to enhance vehicle access, and have more cars access this from the junction on Harrow Road.
This is not suitable for a proposal on this site, and strikes me as a considerable missed opportunity to secure a more rational use of space, enhance pedestrian access and improve amenity space in Barham Park, in an area which lies within a CPZ and with a high Public Transport Accessibility Level. To understand this, it is worth getting a sensitive and close understanding of what this area is like and the unusual problems pedestrians and road users face in this area at present. These create long-standing public realm issues for the Council which it would be good to resolve:
· To the immediate north-west of this development lies a heavily used bus stop which is a key point of access for residents into and out of Sudbury. The footway near this bus stop is currently far too narrow for these purposes, forcing users to sit around the green space near it (currently on lease from Network Rail), causing damage to nearby plant pots and greenery. Pedestrians passing through those waiting at the stop face a challenge in trying to get through and fight for space.
· The car access point for existing residents on this site lies to the immediate south of this bus stop. Because of the unusual location where it is situated, is currently used jointly by pedestrians passing north-south onto the bus stop and by people walking along the footpath to Barham Park. This always poses challenges and access issues whenever cars in the current site are driving through, but these issues are currently relatively modest because of the small size of the site as it stands (currently just two households). Because of the kerb elevation on this access point, this also creates problems for residents with mobility issues trying to go along the footpath or use Barham Park.
· Cars trying to get in and out of the proposed development have to access Harrow Road at a very unusual angle, turning more than 90 degrees in order to get onto the road. This causes issues with traffic flow for cars and cyclists, in an area of Harrow Road which is already heavily congested and with several heavily used junctions to the immediate south of the site. Again, the current low usage of the site means these problems are currently very modest.
Unfortunately, all of the above issues which will be exacerbated by the proposed development as it stands, and the proposed site plan gets priorities wrong for an area of this nature. I do not agree with proposals for enhanced car parking provision as these will enhance traffic issues for residents on the site going on and off Harrow Road, disrupting traffic flow, causing congestion and limiting access for pedestrians and cyclists.
In addition, the proposed kerb lines as drawn appear to limit rather than enhance pedestrian access, particularly for those with mobility issues, and make it more difficult for residents accessing the bus stop or using Barham Park due to the onflow of cars and other vehicles. Given that the road in the proposed development as it stands appears to be only wide enough to accommodate one car going in and out of the car park at any one time, this development will see an increased use of cars backing off on to Harrow Road (causing congestion) or driving over the proposed kerb lines and getting in the way of people using the footpath.
Overall, I would rather see a development which enhances opportunities for pedestrian access and accessibility of the park and addresses some of the current problems with the footways on this site. Residents living in the flats also need to be prevented from parking on already over-used parking spaces off-site.

The density of the development
The planning history of the site is highly relevant to this second concern. As noted earlier the planning department has previously rejected two developments on the grounds they were over-bearing, whilst two other more modest ones have been accepted. Significantly, proposal 19/0788 was refused because 'the proposed development would incorporate an inappropriate height and associated bulk and massing what would appear prominent and have a negative impact on the open nature of the park setting.'
It is therefore curious that a more intensive development is now being proposed, and the planning committee and department will need to seriously consider this; the material changes from previous applications; and the grounds for refusing the two previous ones. Many of my concerns here relate strongly to the grounds for refusal of previous applications.
The present site consists of two semi-detached, two-storey houses in the north-western end of Barham Park. Unfortunately the current buildings are not of the Victorian design which is in keeping with the historic buildings in the centre of the park (a sad oversight when this was originally built), but the site is surrounded by trees which have a higher height profile than these houses. To the north of the site there is a hill leading up to a railway line, and again this hill dwarfs the existing buildings.
Because of the modesty of the buildings on the existing site, their positioning in the park and the way they interact with their surroundings, this has the very desirable effect of giving visual and physical prominence to the green space on Barham Park. For all intents and purposes residents therefore see this area as very much part of Barham Park, closely intwined with the history of the park itself and with associated covenants and conditions. Proposed developments on this site therefore need to be sensitive to this and in keeping with the surroundings.
The many objections received to this by local residents need to be considered in this context. Objectors see this as part of the park. Every effort needs to be made to secure a development which is in keeping with its surroundings, enhances existing green space and builds on rather than detracts from the rich history and heritage of the park. The surrounding greenery needs to exceed the height profile of the existing buildings and ensure it integrates with the existing site.
The drawings in the planning documents show what the building will look like from various elevation points, and I am concerned that the height profile of the existing trees and surrounding greenery do not integrate well with the development as it stands.

Roof garden and impact on users of the park
I am concerned about the proposal's impact on residents' ability to access green space and amenities around Barham Park. The proposal as it stands includes provision of a roof garden on the top of the fourth floor and for a range of private gardens and amenity space for residents of the flats, but with no clear proposals to enhance green space or biodiversity around Barham or integrate with green space with the park itself. Because there is a car park proposed to the rear of the site, the orientation of the building is towards the park and not towards Harrow Road or the railway line, effectively pushing the building closer to the park itself.
This has the following implications:
· Under this proposal, residents in these new flats will overlook people using amenities in Barham Park itself. Their flat windows and balconies will face onto the park, whereas the orientation of the building they replace was towards Harrow Road and thus away from the park.
· This has caused understandable worries from residents about privacy for users of amenity space on the park and, conversely, for people living in the flats.
· The impact of development on trees in the site needs to be considered carefully. The tree protection plan shows one tree (T4) overlaps with the development and it is not clear to me what steps are being taken to mitigate for this. The impact of large tree roots on the buildings also needs close consideration.
· Building on my earlier concern, the provision of an expanded car park within the site does not strike me as in keeping with Barham Park's status as a green space, and it would be better for more of this space to be used for enhanced green space provision.
· It is not clear to me how far the balconies extend from the existing development boundaries. Any encroachment of the balconies over Barham Park itself will exacerbate residents' concerns about the impact on the park.
· The development proposes private green space and bushes surrounding the site, but the exact nature of this space is not clear to me and it is not clear if the species proposed and the way they are situated would enhance biodiversity and improve green space in Barham. I am concerned they may indeed worsen it by using greenery which makes this development stand out from, rather than integrate with, the park itself.
Overall, this development needs to be considered carefully against Brent's welcome commitments to enhance biodiversity in Barham and across Brent, through wildflower meadows and enhanced greenery. Any conditions and enhancements which could build on this agenda, improve the density of trees and green space and enhance biodiversity would be extremely welcome.
I sincerely hope that the developer and local residents will be able to discuss these issues in greater detail and come to a clearer understanding of the issues with this proposal as it stands. There will be an opportunity to do this in the planning committee should (as I suspect it will be) it satisfies the minimum number of objections to be logged, where I trust it will receive its due scrutiny from colleagues.
Thank you in advance for your consideration. 







Tuesday, 11 May 2021

Wembley Park road changes update


A glimpse of the new Bridge Road- North End Road junction. At present it is a steep ramp but aggregate was being delivered this morning presumably to reduce the gradient. There are  reports that there will be weight restrictions when it opens. Brent Council has said it should be open to pedestrians by the end of the month.

The mural on Olympic Way is covered again apart from one section but correspondence is still taking place over whether planning permission for advertising is actually in place.

Behind the ramp on the right is 1 Olympic Way, former office accommodation being converted to flats.

The length of Olympic Way up to the infamous steps is nearing completion.


There is no word yet on when Engineers Way will be open again to traffic. 'Hostile Vehicle Mitigation Measures' have to be put in place.

Brent Annual Standards Report - 11 complaints against councillors of which 3 resulted in public apologies

 This afternoon the  Audit and Standards Committee will be asked to note the complaints received by Brent Council against councillors.  The Annual Standards Report  LINK 2020  states:


During 2020, 11 complaints were received against different Councillors for alleged breaches of the Members Code of Conduct. Of these complaints, two resulted in public apologies being made on the Brent Council’s website as follows.


a)    The first apology resulted from an upheld complaint arising from the sharing of a link to a video discussion on the Dudden Hill Mutual Aid Group WhatsApp group. It was held to be in breach of paragraph4 (high standards), para 5 (seven principles of conduct in public life and para 12 (conduct... in a manner which could reasonably be regarded as bringing your office or the council into disrepute) of the Member’s Code of Conduct.


b)    The second apology arose in relation to the attendance of two councillors at Ealing Road Temple during a prayer and reflection event. The complaint, that the councillors had brought their office into disrepute, was not upheld but both councillors acknowledged they had inadvertently breached the restrictions on such events in place at the time and were apologetic about how this may have appeared to the public.


 The first apology refers to Cllr Aslam Choudry (Labour, Dudden Hill)  who was alleged to have shared anti-semitic material. The final decision notice on the allegation can be read HERE

The second complaint was against Cllr Muhammed Butt, leader of Brent Council  and Cllr Sangani (Labour, Alperton)  and resulted in the apology below:


Apologies by Cllrs. M Butt and Sangani

Allegations were recently made of a breach of the Member’s Code of Conduct by Councillor M Butt and Cllr Sangani in relation to their attendance at Ealing Road Temple during a prayer and reflection event organised by the Brent Multi Faith Forum.  An allegation that the councillors had brought their office or the council into disrepute was not upheld.  Both councillors acknowledged that they had inadvertently breached the restrictions on such events in place at the time and were apologetic about how this may have appeared to the public.  Councillor Butt apologised both on his Facebook page and in a press statement.  Both he and Councillor Sangani have also given apologies to the Monitoring Officer, relevant extracts of which are set out below.


Apology from Councillor Butt:

On the 11th of June, Cllr Trupti Sangani and I attended a small and socially distanced gathering at the Ealing Road Temple in support of Brent’s Multi Faiths Forum. …………..As Leader of this Council, whilst I do of course accept that a mistake was made regarding the time between what happened and what was sanctioned, I do believe that an argument could be made for the actions of those in attendance being a positive demonstration of well-intended community leadership. …………… the idea that such a gesture would upset anyone had simply not occurred to me for which I am happy to apologise unreservedly.


Apology from Cllr Sangani:

On the 11th of June, I attended a small and socially distanced gathering at the Ealing Road Temple in support of Brent’s Multi Faiths Forum. ……………………I regret that in the confusion surrounding various government announcements that we were mistaken in how our brief moment of quiet reflection unfolded. I ……………. would like to apologise to them for what was a honest mistake made in good faith by well-intentioned people.

There are no details of the other complaints in the report.