I am accusing the Leader of Brent Council, Cllr.Muhammed Butt (Lab Tokyington), of telling an untruth yesterday when he said that Brent Council was not building on green spaces at the end of Lidding Road HA30YF here in Kenton and the green land space next to it known as the Legion Hall site both of which are right next to a SINC (a Site of Importance for Nature Conservation) and the Wealdstone Brook. The approved Planning Application 21/3248 Lidding Road Garages, Lidding Road, Harrow, IS on green spaces and I challenge the leader of Brent Council, Cllr.Muhammed Butt to join me in inspecting the site and let us agree the facts.
Kenton, Harrow, HA 0UT (L.B.of Brent)
[Full address supplied]
Excellent letter, which I hope you've sent to Cllr. Butt as well.
People need to stand up for the truth in politics, both locally and nationally.
The supporting papers to the Local Plan approved by Labour Councillors in a mad rush just before the local elections specifically state that to achieve the unrealistic housing targets will require at least 4,000 housing units being provided on "infill sites". The document that gives examples of areas with small green spaces and residential gardens. Many "green spaces" will be lost as a result. This is already happening in places like Harrowdene Road in Sudbury where houses with large gardens are being replaced with blocks of 6 flats and 2 houses at the back on each site. If anyone is claiming that "no green spaces are being built on or lost" is clearly doing a "Johnson" (lying!)
Cllr Butt, do come along with you Cllrs to visit Rokesby Place where there are plans to build on the only usable green space which residents regularly use.
He doesn't give a .... just ask councillor Moeem for her support, maybe that'll make the difference, her entrepreneurial skill will make such a difference to Brent Labour
John, sadly this is typical of Brent’s disregard of the importance of green space in its relentless pursuit of self-declared housing targets – important though they may be.
A much bigger example is the oversized Kilburn Square “Infill” scheme (that’s such an innocuous euphemism for a scheme that would increase the number of households by 65% vs 2019 - on a reduced area - on a mature estate described by one Brent Officer as “brilliant”)
The disregard for the wellbeing and mental health of residents and neighbours has been regularly referred to on WM:
https://wembleymatters.blogspot.com/2022/05/letter-brent-is-prioritisng-housing.html and https://wembleymatters.blogspot.com/2022/03/letter-response-to-cllr-southwoods.html
The version of the scheme being taken to a Planning Application will remove a much-valued area of green space and mature trees – contrary to the Climate Emergency Strategy. A recent tweak – produced unilaterally with NO resident or neighbour consultation - would preserve three trees, but at the cost of creating a fortress visual effect by merging two separate blocks
The estate already has a serious deficit of the Amenity space laid down in the Brent Local Plan; and the current scheme could as much as double that deficit (we’re awaiting updated figures). When challenged on this last year, Brent’s response was “if we had to respect those norms, we’d hardly be able to build on ANY of our existing estates”.
ISN’T THAT EXACTLY THE POINT…?
Yes, Keith, that is the key point.
Brent Council's leadership, and Muhammed Butt, along with Shama Tatler and Eleanor Southwood, must take responsibility for this, appear to have given the New Council Homes team not only targets, but the freedom to ignore Brent's planning and environmental policies, the views of local residents and common sense, in order to try to achieve those targets.
You and other regular "Wembley Matters" readers will be aware that I have been pointing out their hypocrisy over Council homes. That while they insist that they have to use any available Council-owned land, including the green spaces on existing estates like Kilburn Square, the Cabinet approved plans for Brent's housing development on the vacant former Copland School site in Wembley will see 152 of the 250 flats and maisonettes there (including twenty of the family-sized homes) being passed to a private developer to sell at a profit.
Only 37 of the remaining 98 homes at this Cecil Avenue site will be for London Affordable Rent, while the remainder of the "so-called affordable" Council homes in this Brent Council development will be either for shared ownership or "Intermediate Rent" levels, which would not be affordable for most in need of a Council home.
The Cabinet and Senior Council Officers have not yet been held to account for their decisions over Cecil Avenue, which go completely against the claims they use to justify taking the green spaces on other Council-owned land because of the urgent need for Council homes.
The final chance to get any answers from them would be the Resources and Public Realm Scrutiny Committee meeting on 19 July. I have suggested to the Chair, and other members, that Cecil Avenue should be on their agenda, but I am still waiting to find out whether it will be.
Butt and Co have no shame. And the hypocrisy of Brent's Towerblock Tatler trying to become the next Labour Parlimentary Candidate for Watford hile waving a banner there saying she's against Tatler Tower Blocks in Watford.
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