Brent Planning Committee last night deferred a decision on a planning application for a new warehouse building at the rear of the Millennium Business Centre site in Humber Road NW2.
Alison Hopkins representing local people described the Centre as 'bad neighbours' and shared a number of examples of their detrimental impact on the area and fears that the new facility would worsen the situation.
A speaker from Henfield who presently run a warehouse on the site opposed the application and described the state of the premises and the problems of parking and the blocking of fire exits if the plans went ahead. He thought it might be better to demolish the lot and rebuild or re-develop.
The agent for Millennium Business Centre said that they recognised that the 'type of tenant' they'd had was 'not conducive' to the area and that they had 'got rid of them.' He accused Henfield of wanting to purchase the site themselves.
Challenged on the traffic survey Brent Highways said that it had been conducted before the introduction of LTNs and to some incredulou social media comments suggested that overall traffic on Humber Road would be reduced.
It was revealed that the applicant had not submitted a compliant D012 Fire Report and that this was still required. Cllr Dixon was not reassured that traffic issues that had led to previous applications being rejected had been addressed and was concerned that vehicles would get stuck in the narrow road. The Highways officer remarked that the road was 'not ideal' for an industrial site but 'It is what it is.'
His words did not appear to persuade councillors who rejected the application with only two for the application. Initially they were ready to reject it outright but were persuaded by their chair, Cllr Kelcher, and intervention by officers , who cautioned againt going against officers; recommendation, to defer the decision to allow the applicants to come back with further information. Cllr Dixon was initially not happy to defer rather than reject.
Councillors cited traffic generation, highway safety, HGV problems, parking problems, inmpact on the wider local road network and lack of information as reasons to defer. In addition there was the lack of a compliant Fire Report.
The chair suggested a site visit and the Highways officer said he would request a Travel Plan from the applicant.
The HS2 South Kilburn vent application was dealt with quickly as there was little the Committee could do about it. A suggested that the block should have green growing walls was not possible because the vent had a slatted exterior. HS2 made much of the triangle of green space they were providing between the site and St Mary's Primary School and the 'learning opportunities' it would offer pupils. They would offer road safety and skills training to the school to ensure safety during construction. A Schedule 17 lorry route would be in place during construction and traffic, once the vent was in operation, would be minimal.