Staples Corner from above (Brent Council)
It is all too common for Wembley Matters to hear from residents they were not aware of development proposals or consultations. Here, in a guest blog, a resident shares their message to Brent Council on the consultation over the preparation of a Master Plan Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) on the future of the Staples Corner Area.
In TRANSPORT terms, it is currently horrible for pedestrians and cyclists around Staples Corner. Even for motorists.Brent needs either to take on in battle the London Mayor's 'Transport for London Streets' planners and reduce the amount of ugly and hostile 'severance' that his main roads create in the area, or you need to divide up your Brent plan and turn AWAY from the main roads to treat each area entirely separately.
Given the 'excellent' 24-hour main road access for goods, you should intensify industrial development, perhaps with flatted factories to encourage small businesses. Industrial and commercial areas need a great deal of greening as well though. Thirty years ago you attempted it in Park Royal with 'pocket parks'. Planning guidance must insist on setback and maintainable green borders around all industrial sites. Fencing design is important as well, with no ugly, cheap, bog-standard 'bayonet' galvanised-steel fencing (for a change).Given the soon-to-open Thameslink station there and the potential 'West London Orbital' London Overground line to Neasden station, Harlesden station, HS2 Old Oak Common and into south-west London, you have high enough 'Public Transport Accessibility Level' values to build new housing at high density (which does not have to mean high buildings).Please clarify in your documents what is zoned as 'Strategic Industrial Land' and what is not. Are you planning to change its boundaries? Would there be mitigation (such as higher-density industry in what is retained)?Pedestrian and cycling crossings across the A5 need to increase in number and quality, and at all side road junctions, with NO 'slip road geometry' on the road corners from the A5, so that LINKED road junction traffic lights / pedestrian crossing lights can keep speeds down to 30mph or below - which would be a novelty.The main A5 slip roads from the A5 flyover should be reduced in length and width - not intended to reduce capacity but to reduce speeds. They are currently of a scale for 70mph traffic.Current traffic speeds on the main roads are either near zero when there is congestion, and very high when traffic is light.The North Circular Road was going to be a motorway, the 'M15', but the A5 technically was NOT, and that road can be re-urbanised and humanised without much opposition, if you use planning gain money to finance the changes.Ex-London Mayor 'Boris-the-Now-Disgraced' had a London-wide 'Roads Taskforce'. That declared that roads should have a MOVEMENT function but also a SENSE OF PLACE function. Brent's task is create the latter on the Staples Corner main roads for the first time since the 1975 'improvements', particularly on the A5 main road.
This Brent Council's description of the consultation:
Brent’s Local Plan designates Staples Corner for housing and industrial growth, with the ambition to transform the area into a new mixed-use community with at least 2,200 new homes and new business premises fit for modern day occupiers, with an improved environment and supporting infrastructure.
To achieve this ambition, the Council is developing a Masterplan that will provide the detailed vision and planning policy framework for regeneration and growth in Staples Corner for the next twenty years.
Brent Council is also preparing a Design Code to set out the design requirements for new developments coming forward in Staples Corner. The design Code would provide greater certainty for communities about the design of new developments to the start of the planning process.
Brent will work with local communities and stakeholders to ensure the Masterplan and the Design Code for Staples Corner reflects local aspirations.
The Residents' Survey opened on December 1st with little response so far. It closes on 30th April 2023.