Following what he sees as unsatisfactory answers to his questions at the Full Meeting of Brent Council, Marc Etukudo has returned to the fray with a comprehensive email to Brent planners citing what he alleges is misinformation in the Planning Statement prepared by Maddox Planning on behalf of Brent Council as the applicant. I have edited the email to conform with editorial requirements - words in :
The residents of both Newland Court and Grendon Gardens first found out of Brent Council's proposal to build 7 town houses by demolishing the garages in Newland Court for the very first time in late June 2022 and only gave us until 13th July 2022 to respond to the newsletter. Only because of this proposal has made me investigate the way LABOUR RUN BRENT COUNCIL operates and I am totally appalled with my findings. They tell their own residents across the borough what they think we want to hear and then do what they want to do when it suits them.
I have just been reading the Planning Statement from Maddox Planning dated September 2022 and have found out that these plans were first made in 2020 yet we only found out late June 2022.
On page 9 Community Engagement 2.6 it states.....
'The Community Communications Partnership, acting on behalf of the London Borough of Brent, carried out a communication consultation programme. A newsletter that included details of the proposed development was delivered to neighbours of the site. The newsletter was accompanied by a feedback form for residents to complete if unable to access the internet. Alongside the newsletter an online consultation was created on Brent Council’s Public Participation Platform (https://haveyoursay.brent.gov.uk) that hosted a PDF version of the newsletter that was delivered and the feedback form as a survey to be completed. Additionally, a virtual exhibition video was included on the online consultation that provided residents with a narrated video tour of the site and plans. The consultation has received 42 responses with the majority if residents expressing support for the proposed development'
[Misinformation]. The communication consultation programme was completely flawed. They made sure that not everybody received the newsletters by delivering them to every other flat in Newland Court and to only a few houses in Grendon Gardens. I know this for a fact because a neighbour and I went to every flat continuously to get signatures for a petition and found out that some flats never received the newsletters. We also got signatures for our petition from the affected houses on Grendon Gardens and all the residents there except one were against this proposal. At Newland Court, 4 were not bothered, 1 said they supported it and 5 did not want to know since they were renting and said it was the leaseholders responsibility. We got about 55 valid signatures (since Brent is saying more than one objection from one household counts as one) from Newland Court and Grendon Gardens, so for Brent to say that they
received 42 responses from residents expressing support for this development is [Misinformation]!!!!!
On page 13, Loss of garages and principle of residential development 4.6 it states.....
'With regards to the loss of the garages, the majority of these are all vacant and underutilised. None of these garages are currently being used for car parking. As such, there will be no loss of car parking as a result of the demolition of the existing garages'.
[Misinformation]. 3 garages are still being used for cars and rent is still being paid for them. One is used by a disabled badge holder who is so upset about this proposal and wants to know where she is going to park her car when the garages are pulled down . She claims a council vehicle reversed into her garage a few years ago damaging the door and roof. She had to wait 3 months for the council to repair the damage to the door and roof and it was when the roof was being replaced that she discovered that all the garage roofs had asbestos. Less than a year later she contracted lung cancer and now only has one lung. She couldn't prove it was the asbestos from her garage so took no action.
On page 14, Quality of Accommodation 4.20 it states that.....
London Plan policy D6 states that housing developments should be of high quality design and provide adequately-sized rooms with comfortable and functional layouts which are fit for purpose.
On page 15, Quality of Accommodation 4.22 it states.....
Policy BH13 requires all new dwellings to have external private amenity space of a sufficient size and type to satisfy its proposed residents’ needs. This is normally expected to be 50sqm per home for family housing (3 bedrooms or more) situated at ground floor level and 20 sqm for all other housing.
House 2 (3B5P) will have an amenity space of 41.6 sqm.
House 5 (3B5P) will have an amenity space of only 32.1 sqm.
House 6 (3B5P) will have an amenity space of 48 sqm.
The other houses, 3 and 4 will house up to 7 people. The size of these houses in the tiny plot of land with little amenity space and not fit for purpose.
How can Brent Council justify cramming families like tinned sardines in such a crammed site. At least 35+ people in 7 tiny houses.
On page 16 of Neighbouring Amenity 4.29 it states....
The guidance states that directly facing habitable room windows will normally require a minimum separation distance of 18m, except where the existing character of the area varies from this. A distance of 9m should be kept between gardens and habitable rooms or balconies. Reduced distances between new frontages may be acceptable subject to consideration of overlooking and privacy as well as high quality design and solutions which can sometimes mitigate impacts and allow for efficient use of land.
It says 'Reduced distances between new frontages may be acceptable subject to consideration of overlooking and privacy'.
No consideration has been taken towards the existing residents of Newland Court as the 18m overlooking rule has been halved, yes halved. Brent Council's new plans states the overlooking distance is 10m but we have measured several times and the 2 angled out buildings that are closest to the new houses measure
8m and 9m from the windows. Do you know how close and imposing the proximity of these new houses are going to be???
In my previous emails to you I have highlighted the issues with...
I would now like to raise a point you highlighted in a letter to Mr. T Ghani who was the project manager then dated 31/07/20 where you pointed out....
REF: 20/0131/PRE Pre-application Consultation
In line with the Council's Statement of Community Involvement, we would encourage you to engage in preapplication consultation with the local community. This is recommended to be in the form of discussing the proposal with neighbours and other nearby occupiers/owners of properties/land / local interest groups.
In line with the Public Sector Equality Duty, the Council must have due regard to the need to eliminate discrimination and advance equality of opportunity, as set out in section 149 of the Equality Act 2010.
The plans for the 'infill' of 7 TINY new houses in Newland Court were made since 2020 yet the first we ever heard about it was the end of June 2022. Brent Council have shown nothing but Systemic discrimination towards the residents of Newland Court over their proposed ‘infill’ plans of building 7 TINY town houses by demolishing the garages at Newland Court. They have shown no empathy, been dismissive and ignored our thoughts and feelings to go ahead with this ‘infill’ contributing to a less favourable outcome for the residents (especially the elderly and disabled) of Newland Court who they are treating like nobodies or a minority group.
With all the points I have raised above, the fact that there have been lots of misleading factors from Brent Council and the fact that if they are granted permission to go ahead with these plans. I am sure they will just keep moving the post to suit them at the detriment of the existing residents of Newland
Court and I plead with you not to approve this planning application.
Forty Avenue. HA9 9LZ.
Well put Mr Mark...
At least you are standing up to the council where others just let them do what they want. I hope the planning department at the council take note and do not give planning permission. But I won't hold my breath as I to have been involved in other objections that failed. Like the library at Preston Rd. It's all about targets, tenures and tenders with the council at any cost with no regard for the impact on the ordinary people.
Very true. When the council want to build something, they bend all the rules to achieve it and don't forget it is their own planning people that approve it for them. From 18 metres down to 10 metres for overlooking is absurd. They refused my plans for an extension until I reduced it by 1 metre. One rule for Brent and another for the rest of us.
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