The present buildings, Pitman House and Fairgate House, 390-402, 402-408 High Road Wembley
The replacement building
The plans for a massive student accommodation block to replace Pitman House and Fairgate House on Wembley High Road, comes to Plannning Committee tomorrow.
Thge plans are for a party 13, part 16 and part-17 storey buildng housing 349 student bedrooms and a range of communcal spaces, along with three commercial units at ground floor level.
Following other high-rise buildings on the High Road this is consider acceptable by officers. The building would almost face the controversial Cecil Avenue/Copland site where Brent Council is proposing a high density 9 storey building and close to the 17 and 19 storey Wembley Link (416 - 44 High Road) and the 27-storey Twin Towers (Uncle building) that replaced Chesterfield House.
The mock-tudor shops wedged between will begin to look very much out of place.
Figures indicate the number of storeys
The land behind the development, between it and the railway line, is also likely to be developed as a continuation of the Wembley Link concept:
The planning application has attracted few comments and only two objections.That is quite surpising given its size and potential impact. The Brent Trees Officer regrets the loss of trees in the development and is pessimistic about the survival chances of new trees to be planted in a shaded space.
Student accommodation and its suitability for the area and any potential problems are not directly addressed but Officers have this to say about that aspect of the proposal:
…Student housing contributes to Brent’s housing targets, at a rate of 2.5 bedspaces to one conventional housing unit, and the provision of accommodation for 349 students would equate to 139.6 new homes, which would contribute towards the wider target of 650 dwellings within the whole of the site allocation. To date within the wider site allocation, planning permission has been secured for 256 homes within Wembley Link scheme (18/3111) and outline consent secured for 5000sqm of residential floorspace (upto 54 homes) within Ujima House (19/3092).
The accommodation would be secured by condition for occupation by full time students enrolled on UK accredited and based further education courses during term time (for not less than 39 weeks of the year). The remaining time, (outside term time,) the Council is content that the units may be rented out on short-term lets, perhaps assisting tourism within the summer vacation period. This will apply to all of the student rooms. The majority of the units (51% of bedrooms) would be provided through a nominations agreement with one or more higher education providers, through the s106 agreement. This demonstrates that the accommodation would meet a specific London need, in line with policy H15 of London Plan and policy BH7 of Brent’s Local Plan.
A draft student management plan has been submitted, setting out how the development would be managed through an on-site staff presence providing a point of contact for students but also for local residents who might be concerned about any incidents of anti-social behaviour. Management and maintenance of communal facilities, emergencies and security measures are also addressed. An updated document would be required as a condition prior to occupation, and would provide a dedicated contact for local residents.
Officers recommend approval of the application subject to conditions and a Section106 Plan.