Monday 19 July 2021

Cabinet to approve 'last resort' compulsory purchase orders on Watling Gardens, Windmill Court and Kilburn Square this morning ahead of demolition to make way for new housing

 Brent Council will be asked to approve an approach to 'in-fill' plans for Watling Gardens, Windmill Court and Kilburn Square this morning: 

To delegate authority for the Strategic Director Community Wellbeing to make an application to seek the Secretary of State’s consent under section 19 of the Housing Act 1985 to appropriate any part of Watling Gardens, Windmill Court or Kilburn Square including any part consisting of a house or part of a house so that parts of these sites are no longer held for the purposes of Part ll of the Housing Act 1985.

The estates are part of the Council's scheme to increase the number of Council homes by demolishing 59 properties at Watling Gardens and Windmill Court and the appropriation of council owned land for housing.  125 additional homes are planned for Watling Gardens, 60 for Windmill Court and 178 for Kilburn Square.

The Officers' report states that the demolition of 59 homes is not sufficient to trigger a residents' ballot under London Mayoral powers.

Compulsory purchase will only be used if negotiations with leaseholders over their loss of rights fail, the report states.

Regarding Council tenants the report says:

The project team will be basing early engagement offers of alternative accommodation and decant options for secure residents on the current Allocation Policy and the statutory consultation required in connection with the use of Ground 10A of the Housing Act 1985 4


The current Allocation Policy will apply to secure residents to be decanted from 1-11 Watling Gardens, 1-30 Claire Court and 1-18 Windmill Court. Under the current allocation policy secure residents affected by the infill developments will be placed into Band A on a phased basis to bid for an alternative home. Early engagement with residents and leaseholders has started with a view to obtain vacant possession of the required blocks as soon as possible

The report justifies the choice of Watling and Windmill:

Watling Gardens and Windmill Court were chosen due to the relatively low density of housing on the sites compared to modern developments in London and the fact that the land is wholly owned by the Council and thus avoids land acquisition costs. Furthermore the development provides the opportunity to carry out extensive long term soft and hard landscape improvement works. The infill programme on each of the sites will deliver new play facilities, activity areas, revised parking arrangements, improvements to a community hall, improved environmental and wellbeing spaces and solve the current problems of anti-social behaviour in the undercroft. It is possible to omit some or all of these improvements however this will reduce the positive impact of the development.


 There is a separate report tabled for the controversial Kilburn Square development. Keith Anderson from the local campaign against the council's plans said:


As far as we can see this is mainly an enabling report to allow them to do pretty much what they want on the entire area including both the clinic and mental health buildings, where the new tower and extra care facility are due to go, and all the rest of the Co-op estate site, including the trees and green space that Buildings C and D would remove.


We also spotted in the modifications to the Local Plan that they want to slip in a clause allowing tall buildings on the KS site – so they don’t contravene the Plan if they press ahead with another 17 storey tower. Not that any of this project, Plan A or a smaller Plan B, is covered by the Local Plan in the 0-5 year frame!


They’ve had strong pushback from local neighbours (and some estate residents) on the Zooms two weeks ago. And the petition is up to 740 signatures. 


Cllr Southwood keeps saying the designs are not finalised (and there’s a brief statement to that effect in today’s report) – but we have limited faith in that; the report also has language about the overriding need for more social housing, which they seem to think means they can ride roughshod over any counter arguments about the wellbeing of the current estate residents or the interests of our local community.


 The meeting takes place at 10am this morning AGENDA

You can watch the webcast of the meeting HERE



Kilburn Square  petition


New Council Homes is welcoming feedback from anyone in Kilburn Brent, Kilburn Camden or Queen’s Park Wards. Details from 

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