Application 22/3124 | Demolition of all garages on site to provide seven new homes with associated cycle and refuse storage, resurfacing of Newland Court to provide a shared vehicular and pedestrian access surface, provision of on-street car parking along Newland Court, new refuse storage facilities to serve existing residents at Newland Court and all associated landscaping works. | Newland Court Garages, Forty Avenue, Wembley
The redevelopment site at Newland Court outlined in red - note the proximity to the back gardens of Grendon Gardens (image from planning application)
I tweeted at the weekend that the planning application for Newland Court LINK submitted on behalf of Brent Council had appeared on the Council's Planning Portal but that residents of Newland Court, Corringham Road and Grendon Gardens had not received notification letters. I understand that they are now due to be sent out.
Not a great start to what is going to be a controversial application.
I popped down to the estate today to see for myself and talk to residents about the issues.
The garages that will be demolished
Impression of what will replace them and landscape changes (image from planning application)
Residents say that the garages have been deliberately run-down and attempts to rent them have been refused. This is a familiar story from other estates, including Kings Drive, one of the earliest to get infill proposals. Various reports accompanying the application states there are 32 garages of which 5 are occupied but elsewhere says none are used for parking.
Their state can be seen from these photographs. The roofs appear to be asbestos and some are broken.
The artist's impression does not convey the narrowness of the site, or the narrowness of Newland Court.
Newland Court today. Note the artist's impression includes 2m wide pavement on either side.
The width of two garages on which houses will be built
One concern that the residents had was the proposed loss of trees. As can be seen they are tall and dense in places. Some are in the back gardens of houses on Grendon Gardens and some are in the space between the retaining wall of Newland Court and the Grendon back fences. The exact boundary seems unclear. The application states that the retainign wall forms the northern boundary of the site. The gardens are at a higher level than Newland Court so the space between appears to possibly be 'No Man's Land'.
Although the text of the application says that 9 trees are to be removed, the plan indicates rather more (trees to be lost outlined in red) as does the table below.
It is actually a little more complicated than that as some of the trees in Grendon Gardens are very close to the garden fence and no man's land:
Tree on retaining wall
The application does not shed much light on the precise location of the trees:
The site is within an Air Quality Management Area. To the east of the site is the Wembley Growth Area and Wembley Park Town Centre. The site is adjacent to Barn Hill Conservation area, on its southern border. A dense row of trees adjoins the northern edge of the site. These trees are located as they are located with the conservation area. (sic)
As well as the loss of trees, residents are concerned about the loss of some of their green space on the northern edge of the estate, adjacent to Newland Court road. A large bit is to be taken out of two existing triangular spaces for car parking.
One of the green spaces today
Residents are concerned about parking because the they currently use the length of Newland Court and this will be reduced to 12 spaces. They told me that no mention has been made of disabled spaces but they think the estate had 5 or 6 people who would need such a space. The 7 new homes are supposed to be car free but existing residents doubted that would hold up as some of the accommodation is for larger families. A Pay and Display system will be brought in on Corringham Road and Newland Court but it is unclear whether that would apply to current residents.
As with many infill estates the proposals bring up some of the neglect residents feel and this is no exception. Refuse collection is a problem with over-filled bins scattered in various places on the estate, including between the garages. And of course flytipping from vehicles that I am told drive into the estate.
With 60 households on the estate and the evidence of current full bins, the Council is proposing to reduce the overall number (current in brackets):
General Waste 6 x 1280 l (14)
Recycling 6x 1280 l (6)
Foodwaste 6 x 240 l (4)
But will provide permanent bin spaces.
Residents' claim that the required 10m gap to prevent overlooking is much less from the corners of the blocks at around 8m.
The nearest part of the flats to the new housing
One of the houses most affected by the proposal is not in Newland Court at all, but in Corringham Road where it adjoins Newland Court.
The tree at the junction of Newland Court and Corringham Road (T20) will be removed (image from planning application)
Despite the loss of trees and green space the application concludes:
The Urban Greening Factor for the proposed development is 0.22, which falls slightly short of the London Plan and Brent target of 0.4. However, the significant planning benefits associated with the delivery of affordable family housing is considered to outweigh non-compliance with this policy and should be considered on balance, alongside significant enhancements to a sustainable, brownfield site
The new houses are actually London Affordable Rent rather than council rent or social rent. This appears to have become the norm for new council housing.
Overall the applicant reckons that the proposal will enhance the nearby Conservation Area:
As noted above, the Site abuts Barn Hill Conservation Area to the north. Having regard to proximity of the site to the conservation area, a Heritage Statement has prepared by Heritage Collective UK (‘HCUK’) Group and is submitted with this application. The report concludes that the ‘the proposed development will not result in harm to the character and appearance of the Barn Hill Conservation Area for the purposes of section 72 of the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990. In fact, the proposals bring about the potential for a material enhancement through the introduction of high- quality buildings and associated landscaping that elevate the appearance of Newland Court within the immediate setting of the conservation area.’ As such, the proposals are considered to significantly improve the setting of the Barn Hill Conservation Area in line with Local Plan Policy BHC1.
If you would like to make a comment on the proposal follow this LINK.
A word of warning - as this application is for less than 10 homes, it does not automatically have to go to Planning Committee.
In fact, the application details say that the decision is expected to be made by a Brent Planning Officer, the "Delegated Team Manager".
To ensure that the application is at least decided in public, at a Planning Committee meeting where residents (and a local Ward councillor, if they request it) can have their say, there need to be at least eight objections to the application by the consultation "closing date" of 18 October.
Three councillors, their architect and other team members met with residents living at Newland Court as part of the pre-planning stage of this development. This enabled residents to directly feed into the design of privacy, parking and trees. It was a waste of time and just a pen pushing procedure just to say that they had consulted with us.
They said no trees would be removed during the site meeting. LIES. In the final plans they are removing 13 trees from our view which are therapeutic to residents, especially those who can’t get out much as it helps their mental wellbeing and reduces depression and anxiety.
We spoke about the need to retain our parking spaces (around 40 down to 12) as we have at least 5 residents who are disabled badge holders, several cab and delivery drivers and other self-employed car users. They haven’t even factored any disabled parking bays in their new plans and to drive us into despair they intend to introduce pay and display all around the streets by Newland Court because of the impact of the overflow this will cause.
They are actually reducing our residual waste bins from 14 to 6 and taking some of our urban green space to make way for the limited 12 car spaces they intend to leave us and create a play ground for the new residents. The 10 metre overlooking rule is actually around 8 metres so as you can see, there are lots of flaws in their plans apart from them ignoring a lot of their own Brent planning guidance.
I am just letting you know that these are going to be some of my grounds for objecting to this proposal. And it is only because of this proposal that has made me to start investigating the way Brent run LABOUR council operate. I have to say I am actually very appalled with my findings. Brent Council DONOT care about their residents interest, but only their own interests and their back pockets. I have voted Labour for over 40 years but not anymore.
I could not agree more Marc . Brent Council are ignorant to their residents at Newland Court and to pretty much all the concerns they have raised individually and collectively time and time again so far .I can honestly say its unclear how they think that 6 bins will be enough for 60 flats 1, 2 and 3 beds at Newland Court with rubbish collections every two weeks . This alone will cause unsightly, unhygienic and scatterd rubbish all over the place due to shortage of bins will be really stressful .We do not have enough bins as it is and now they are considering a further reduction.
Urban greening is something Brent Council havent even considered in.their plans . We have little green space already and to further reduce is by putting a concrete jungle play area for the new kids in the new homes is what they feel will compensate to the overall visual picture they are using to sell this ridiculous infill development idea . We at Newland Court are not impressed . We dont want to lose our green space any of any of our existing trees .
You said you were going to prune the Trees to build these new houses . Now you want to cut their roots and dig them out completely . You seem to be providing us with misleading information as and when it suits you.
You are not taking any of the residents concerns which will affect their day to day life such as wellbeing, mentsl health , urban greening and privacy into consideration. The lack of parking for the residents who work as delivery drivers on their own cars self employed, disabled residents who need daily access to a parking spaces also ignored . Brent Council are implementing further restrictions in many of the streets locally to pay and display parking so that their is no parking available for any of the residents anywhere near by .It is unclear what the pay and display conditions will be for the parking spaces which will be reduced by 75% of the current capacity at Newland Court .
We at Newland Court have not yet been informed of your submitting the planning application . You had promised us when you came to visit the area in late July you will do it at the same time as submitting the application to the planning department. You cannot be trusted at all and everything you say is a complete lie .
The boundaries for the space between the new homes and our existing homes does not adhere to your own policy and yet you are not even bothered to consider that and you are just bulldozing your way through to move on this infill development as fast as you can.
I will also be considering a change in my vote ...enough is enough from a Labour run borough.where our views on there infill developments impact on the local community are not heard or considered , but brushed under the carpet by BENT Council .
I have not yet had chance to look at the planning application documents, but there is some information I can share with potential objectors, based on personal knowledge from having to advise a relative who used to live in the Barn Hill Conservation Area.
The boundary of the Conservation Area runs along the back fence/wall at Newland Court, with all of the back gardens, AND all the trees in them, of Grendon Gardens within the Conservation Area.
Para. 6.5, "Natural Environment", of Brent's Barn Hill Conservation Area Character Appraisal includes the following statement:
'Barn Hill has a very green character defined by the relatively densely planted trees to garden boundaries and along the roads of the estate. Species such as Cherry, Purple Plumb, Hawthorn, Oak and Ash proliferate. These trees help to provide a natural framing for views in and out of the area and between buildings. These trees are an essential part of the character of the area and the mix of deciduous and coniferous trees is part of the now prevailing character.'
The Barn Hill Conservation Area design guide, at para. 5.3, "Trees", in the "Gardens" section, says:
'All trees in the Barn Hill Conservation Area that have a diameter greater than 75mm [that's about 3 inches], measured at a height of 1.5m [about 5 feet], are protected. You will need permission to carry out even the most minor of work to a tree. It is always best to contact Planning & Development for advice on the best way to protect the trees in your garden.'
If you are a Grendon Gardens resident who has trees at the bottom of your garden, backing onto Newland Court and Brent's proposed development site, you might want to contact Brent Council's Tree Protection Officer (I wouldn't personally recommend contacting Planning!), and seek his advice on how the trees in your garden should be protected.
Ask for his advice in writing, and quote it as part of your objection to Brent's planning application, if you wish to object to it.
Feel sad for all residents at Newlands Court. Brent Labour say one thing and do exactly the opposite. Lies roll off their tongues very very easily. Time for all Residents living on estates in Brent to come together and put in a complaint to the Hunan Rights Commission as our human rights are trampled on to suit the plans Brent have of making money out of peoples misery.
I have just realised that the Brent Planning Case Officer and the Planning Agent (Maddox and Associates) for the current Newland Court "infill" planning application are the same as those for the Rokesby Place application, for which I have a complaint of alleged planning malpractice still outstanding with Brent's Chief Executive.
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