Residents of Newland Court wish to draw attention to proposals for their estate which are another example of in-fill. They have asked Wembley Matters to publish a copy of the letter they are sending to Brent Council. Publication does not indicate Wembley Matters support for every point made but it is important that residents' voices are heard.
NEWLAND COURT AND GRENDON GARDEN RESIDENTS V BRENT COUNCIL
LETTER OF OBJECTION TO PROPOSED BUILDING DEVELOPMENT
7th July 2022
I have been a resident at Newland Court for over 30 years and I am taking this opportunity to write to you on behalf of the majority of residents of Newland Court and Grendon Gardens regarding Brent Councils proposal to knock down the garages in Newland Court and build 7 town houses in replacement (4 x 3 bed, 3 x 2bed). I have seen the proposed plans and discussed them with both residents of Newland Court and Grendon Gardens at length. We have collectively concluded that the plans have lots of flaws in them and we will petition against it and seek legal advice.
I have been looking at the plan designs for the town houses that Brent Council want to build in Newland Court and these do not give measurements of the lengths and widths of the houses, only the height. However I can see that the plan gives the lengths and widths of the gardens of all the residents’ in Grendon Gardens but does not give the distance in length between the houses being built and the fencing that separates the houses and their gardens. The only measurements of the houses are in sq metres which only explain size in area therefore is quite misleading.
The residents of Grendon Gardens trees in their gardens lean over and grow across the fencing into Newland Court by up to 3 metres in some areas so there is no way you can build houses without cutting half of one side of all the trees that are on the Newland Court side of the fencing and also as you build the foundation of the houses downwards, you will be destroying most of the roots of the trees. Basically, you would need to remove most of the trees to build houses on the proposed site. This will have a significant impact on the trees and the greenery that gives us privacy and creates a peaceful and scenic view to the area now.
In our collective opinion there are lots of flaws in the new development planning and design. Not only would it not be practical if you had to destroy or remove the trees to be able to build houses in the areas specified as this is a conservation area but this would ignite uproar especially with Greenpeace campaigners and Environmentalists’ alike. It would create anxiety not only with the residents of both sites who will be impacted, but more specifically Newland Court residents who are worried about the effect it would have on their mental state of mind.
“-No trees to the properties of Grendon Gardens will be removed. An arboricultural
impact assessment will be submitted as part of the planning application-
-The new houses will not directly overlook the properties on Newland Court and
Grendon Gardens, as the windows have been designed to face south, east
and west to avoid any overlooking-“
Which is a deception as the 7 proposed houses’ windows will be facing south overlooking our flats, and will invade our space and privacy. The present paving and green space will be further reduced by building the houses outwards south and both new and old buildings will be overlooking each other quite closely, which will have a negative affect our everyday lives. So our privacy will be taken away from us yet I see in the plans that the new houses will have their own courtyard and bin area. Newland court will have an even smaller bin area than we have now and there are currently not enough bins at present to service the 60 flats here and yet your plans are to reduce them in further.
This is going to cause a great deal of chaos as in the plans the bins will sit in a built area on the greenery further restricting the little green space we do have and possibly causing the perfect environment for infestation of rats which is already causing fear and great concerns within the tenants at Newland Court. The reduction in Bins and the site where you plan to locate them will be extremely unpleasant and unacceptable right below one blocks kitchen windows for us to smell all the rubbish constantly. You may not be aware that there is always an overflow of the bins towards the latter part of the week so rubbish will be exposed and probably scattered as there will be more rubbish and less space to service 60 flats.
At present we do not have enough bins to service the 60 residents’ at Newland Court so we cannot imagine the frustration and inconvenience reducing them will be like. Another issue which has been raised by most of the residents is that because there are no security gates and not enough street lighting in communal areas and cameras, fly tippers come and fill up our bins with building waste materials and other stuff as soon as our bins have been emptied which happens frequently and they to do this because there are no consequences for them to worry about. They come not only at night but in the day time too and I have been attacked and almost run over when I have tried to confront them.
We have had rat issues for many years and both Newland Court and residents of Grendon Gardens have been significantly impacted by the frequent problem because at present we always have over flowing bins. It is simply unreasonable and inconsiderate for our bins to be further reduced unless collections are done twice a week instead of once a week for both regular general waste bins and recycling bins. This is very unlikely to happen as they sometimes only come once a fortnight, hence the growing problem. Almost all the residents at Newland Court, especially those who have lived here for 10 years or longer have suggested you fit proper security gates at both ends of Newland Court to prevent our homes and vehicles being vandalised or burgled, our families and kids being harassed by drug dealers or mugged on our little estate.
Everybody usually using Forty Avenue /Forty Lane use Newland Court as a cut through to The Avenue or other neighbouring streets or as a meet up or stop off for eating and drinking or drug smoking or dealings right under our noses. This has intensified in the recent years and elder residents and children cannot walk freely because of the lack of security and bad lighting. Between the last two blocks (42 to 48 and 55 to 60 Newland Court) it is easy to see the broken gate where the padlock goes missing every 4 to 6 weeks and a raised wall area where everybody sits and meet up to drink, eat, shout and either deal or take drugs. At night it is very dark in that spot and have asked Brent Council for lights to be put on the walls in that area numerous times.
There are currently limited and inadequate parking spaces for the residents of Newland Court and since Brent council deployed an inept parking firm (WING) to control the parking, at weekends it is free to park which is extremely inconvenient to residents as we can’t find parking spaces. On weekend event days, event goers can freely park so that residents on Newland Court have to keep parking on nearby roads and have to keep moving their cars around during the day until a space is available if at all. Also WING only sends a parking attendant on weekdays 2-3 times a month.
We currently have spaces for at least 30 cars which are not enough and there are at least 5 disabled residents that I know of however there are no disabled parking bays at present in Newland Court and in your new plans parking spaces seem to have reduced significantly to approximately 12 parking spaces. A total of 12 car spaces to service 60 flats and 7 new houses is very inconsiderate. This will cause more problems between residents, more double parking and possible congestion in the local streets as well. How can you possibly justify the few parking spaces as reasonable?
What are your suggestions for the new residents in the proposed 7 new houses and where are the present residents of Newland Court going to park their cars? I guess that is why Brent Council stopped charging us for permits from 2022 to soften the blow of your new plans of building these new homes. You have also rented a Portacabin for the cleaner taking up 2 car parking spaces at a rental cost of £220 per week which has been parked there for about 2 years now at the cost of £22,880 so far. It runs on a diesel generator and when it is running, it emits diesel fumes which rises and comes through our windows for us to inhale. What happened to Brent Council going greener???
Having lived at Newland Court for more than half of my life I could write a book on how Brent Council have wasted money and resources on the unnecessary wrong things and not spent money on the right things which I have already highlighted earlier. Another example is when someone stole the inner plastic bin from the main food waste bin so that the refuse collectors refused to empty it. The food waste bin filled up with food waste till it overflowed and the stench that it caused which attracted rats as big as cats. After dozens of calls complaining about the issue it still took over 6 months to be replaced. Just simple things like that which takes Brent Council so long to resolve.
We have had to endure loads of disruption over the years with building works when the double glazing was installed. When the kitchen and bathrooms were renovated and recently when the roof was replaced and every single time the predicted time scale over ran for months. The scale of this proposal would be hugely disruptive to the residents in Newland Court, Corringham road and Grendon Gardens for at least the next 2-3 years. No matter what time scale you give because this project is massive and residents are worried about the detriment to their mental health and wellbeing which will be impacted from the stress of noise and the disruption to the area.
At present Brent Council have been building a tiny block of 8 flats in a tiny plot at the entrance into Newland Court on the corner of the Avenue and Corringham road by Mason Court. This has not disrupted the lives of the residents of Mason Court because it is to the side of Mason Court but has taken almost 2 years and is still not finished. It was supposed to have been finished by March 2022 and has been hugely disruptive with delivery trucks blocking the entrance into Newland Court several times and destroying the recently laid new paving. Brent Council have since erected new large wooden stumps to prevent trucks from parking on the pavement.
Brent Council says that there is a shortage of land to build on yet Brent Council have allowed private investors to buy up all the land around Wembley stadium and the surrounding areas to build unaffordable skyscrapers which are bought by foreign investors who rent them out to only those who can afford them. Why didn’t Brent Council build housing on some of the land at least knowing housing crisis have been here for years and years??? Brent Council moved their headquarters to the Civic Centre (at a cost of about £90 million but rumoured to be a lot more) from the former Brent Town Hall on Forty Avenue and sold the land which is now a private French School. That land could have been used to create 100’s of council homes.
There are numerous little plots of open spaced land scattered across Brent that could be used for homes. There are lots of derelict homes and then of course the former Unisys building on the corner of Harrow Road and the North Circular that has stood empty for 25 years in legal disputes. Over the years we have seen 2 petrol stations and a pub disappear from Forty Avenue only to be replaced by private residential flats and the Sattavis community centre on the corner of Forty Avenue and The Avenue which was promised to be a community centre for the locals but has turned out to be a hardly used private hire hall used only once a month or every couple of months. Why didn’t Brent Council buy up those plots when they were up for sale and build homes????
Our suggestion is that most of the unused garages be knocked down and sufficient parking spaces made for residents of Newland Court including a few disabled bays as there are at least 5 disabled residents living in Newland Court. A proper security gate at both entrances into Newland Court installed and the side entrances locked permanently to prevent not only vehicles but pedestrians cutting through the estate dumping their rubbish in our bins which includes residents of Corringham road who causally walk into Newland Court with their bin bags. This would also stop fly tippers filling our bins up in the middle of the night. Sufficient lighting and security cameras like other estates have. We need to be heard and we need you to take every angle into consideration. Thank you for your consideration.
On Behalf of Newland Court and Grendon Garden residents.
1. This derelict house in Barn Hill with overgrown shrubs even leading to the front door. It has looked empty and not lived in for at least the last 2 years. This house could be used to house a family unit.
2. The Sattavis community centre on the corner of Forty Avenue and The Avenue which was promised to be a community centre for the locals but has turned out to be a hardly used private hire hall used only once a month or every couple of months.
3. Another derelict house on the corner of Wembley Park Drive and Wembley Hill Road that has also stood empty for over 15 years. Looking like an eyesore with another excuse of an ongoing legal battle.
4. The Unisys buildings that have lain derelict and unused for over 20 year in a costly legal battle between Brent Council and the Bridge Park/ Harlesden community.
Isn’t it time that Brent Council and the Bridge Park/Harlesden community stopped wasting time and money on this long legal battle and come to an agreement or split the land equally or are we going to see another 20 years of to and fro of legal actions. A redevelopment would improve the environmental quality of the area and create an attractive gateway to the borough and Bridge Park. There are numerous other homes or sites in Brent that lie empty and could have homes built on.