Monday 1 May 2023

355 new hotel rooms for Olympic Way plus 26 storey private residential block. Nearby residents complain of daylight and sunlight impact,

 The new hotel tower replacing 3 Olympic Way and the Novotel upper extension

The rattle of luggage trolleys will become louder along Olympic Way if Brent Planning Committee approves a new 23 storey hotel to replace the  current much lower 7 storey building at 3 Olympic Way  and a further 6 storey upper floor extension to the Novotel making it 16 storeys  high.

The officers' report states;

The proposed hotel accommodation would comprise of an upwards and infill extension to the existing Novotel at 5 Olympic Way, as well as separate, new hotel directly adjacent at 3 Olympic Way. The application states the new hotel would be a 3 star model and that the reception area to the existing Novotel would be transformed to create a shared reception area for the both the existing and proposed hotels, with extended restaurant offer to cater for both hotels too. The leisure facilities proposed (i.e. swimming pool and gym) at basement level below the proposed hotel will also serve the existing Novotel.


In apparent contradiction to this description of shared facilities the officers also state:


This hotel is planned to be used by a different hotel operator, (i.e. it would not constitute a further extension to the Novotel), and would have 260 hotel rooms.

The planning application is not limited to the hotels. The site includes a large car park space between Olympic Way and North End Road that will be built on. 

Plans for this space includes a 26 storey  residential building with 142 private homes named the 'Central Residence' and a 10 storey bullding of 30  apartments facing North End Road for 'affordable' housing.

The proposal goes to Brent Planning Committee at their meeting on Wednesday May 10th 6pm. Residents can apply to speak  on the proposal.  LINK


 The officers' report spends considerable space on the problems of 'viability of social housing provision' and ends with agreeing that despite much higher requirements in terms of guidance that 10.4% social rent and 6.97% London Shared Ownership is all that can be provided in terms of financial viability of the whole development.

 To summarise 142 homes (82.5%) will be private, 18 social rent (10.4%) and 12 shared ownership (6.97%) shared ownership.  So only 1 in 10 of the homes will be properly affordable.

As social and shared ownerships are all in one building on North End Road there is no impingement by 'affordabe residents' on the private area.

The officers' report addresses existing residents' concerns over access to daylight and sunlight  (they say Danes Court, Pinnacle Tower, Trabriz Court and Felda House are affected) with this statement:

The growth area designation which applies to this location, and which envisions significant housing growth within the locality of the site is given significant weight. The expectation for significant development within this growth area, as well as the expected high-density nature of development, would naturally reduce the expectations for full compliance with the daylight and sunlight guidance for new development in this location. As noted above, the undeveloped nature of a large proportion of the site affords some surrounding buildings access to a higher level of existing sunlight and a generous baseline scenario, however this is a location where change is expected to occur and the existing baseline conditions cannot realistically be maintained

The officers' report states that there are 22 objections to the development but there are 57 recorded (some going back to the 2021 application);

Here is a recent objection;

Danes Court resident: In response to your further letter regarding the application 3-5 Olympic Way HA9 0NP, I wish to again oppose these plans. I can see no significant change to the planning application for this site, which was first opposed by me in March 2022.

As I mentioned before, the proposal to develop and build a building on 3-5 Olympic Way of basement ground, nine, twenty two, and twenty five storeys will have a very detrimental impact on me and my family (and other Danes Court residents). I live in 22 Danes Court which faces and is adjacent to North End Road. Over a period of several years our quality of life has declined considerably due to the building of numerous very tall blocks of flats and student accommodation; Victoria Hall, Felda House, Scape, 1 Olympic Way, Anthology, and recently a vast Barrett tower block of flats. These have had a considerable impact on the light on my flat. Since these buildings have been erected and most recently 1 Olympic way where a 15 storey tower block had been built opposite our flat (to add insult to injury, this block appears to be unoccupied!), the light to my flat has almost disappeared. We now have almost no sunlight onto our flat. The days of enjoying an afternoon sitting on my balcony are a distant memory and with this proposal we will be almost constantly living in shade.

The proposal to build 9, 22 and 25 storey buildings plus add six storeys to the Novotel hotel will almost completely decimate any remaining light on our flat. This is not only detrimental to our well being, but our health as well. The reduction in light and privacy have impacted on our mental health and quality of life. Plants that used to thrive on my balcony now do not due to lack of sun (this may seem minor to you but is important to me). This proposal will significantly negatively impact on mine and others quality of life. Please consider the Right to Light Act 1959. I have lived in my flat for 28 years and enjoyed wonderful light for most of that, now it has lessened to very little and this proposal will take most of the little light we have particularly in the afternoons.

These buildings plus a supermarket will bring more people and traffic, which will also impact on the noise, litter (a huge problem since all these buildings have been erected in and near North End Road), privacy, anti-social behaviour and traffic. North End Road is a dangerous rat run of traffic, fumes and noise. It is almost impossible to cross without taking your life in your hands. Lorries, cars, vans and occasionally coaches thunder down that road. We are also often disturbed by vehicles sounding their horns in the midst of severe congestion of traffic during school pick ups and event days. Adding further congestion with traffic from these buildings will increase the nightmare of this hideous, dangerous road.

The Danes and Empire Court flats were built in around the 1930s. The recent buildings have smothered them, (they are now hidden by surrounding ugly concrete tower blocks,) and brought only negative impact on the residents.

Litter has increased substantially. Only today I watched a man empty his care boot of plastic water bottles and chuck them on the ground. Take away food containers and other rubbish had led to an increase in vermin and made the area look run down, which I am sure has contributed to an increase in crime. Ie drug dealing has become the norm.

This proposal will considerably further add to the detrimental impact on mine and other residents qualify of life. Therefore I oppose it.

And one from April last year:

Shams Court resident:  

With reference to planning application 21/2130, I would like to register my strong objections to this application as it will have a major impact on all occupants of my address, all 9 flats in Shams Court, and I believe our opinions should be counted as we have clearly been identified in the plans as THOSE MOST AFFECTED. My reasons for objecting are as below:

1. Developers have stated that they consulted us (the owners of Sham's Court). This is entirely UNTRUE and NO attempt has been made by the developers to consult any of the owners of Sham's Court. This is just one example of the falsehoods mentioned in their planning application.

2. From the daylight, sunlight and overshadowing assessment you can see that the 8, 22 and 25 storey buildings will completely overshadow the ENTIRE SOURCE OF NATURAL LIGHT to our kitchen and bathroom. This is our MAIN source of natural light.

3. Shams Court is a small 4 storey building, which will be engulfed in full 360degrees by extremely high towers. The image attached has a mouse which points to the EXACT location of my flat. You can very clearly see the tower would block ALL daylight through my windows and is in touching distance of the building. It is visibly engulfing my apartment and the entire Shams Court. We would be left in darkness ALL DAY- you can literally see a full shadow on the developer's image of our flat.

4. In the new report our kitchen and Bathroom windows would get 1% of daylight and with the daylight from the front living room and bedrooms would be an acceptable daylight required. I completely disagree with this. Our living room is long and hence the daylight coming in will not get to the kitchen area and we will be below the living standard acceptable daylight. Also presently we have to leave the bathroom door open to have daylight in the hallway and entrance area. Therefore when the bathroom receives 1% daylight the area mentioned will be in total darkness. This is outrageous. How can you ignore where we receive such a significant proportion of our daylight. It is false representation of the effects of this project. The developers have omitted key information in their reports.

Additionally, the costs of electricity have sky-rocketed. Once the light has been reduced to a pathetic 1%, I will have to keep my lights on constantly, using an excessive amount of energy. This is bad for the environment and will put considerable strain on my finances due to the electricity price increase. Shams Court was purpose built as affordable housing - which it will no longer be

5. The buildings will tower over Sham's Court and we will be in engulfed in darkness. Our roof garden will be overshadowed leading to no daylight/sunlight and our privacy will be entirely lost. My mother who lives with me and is a key worker from home will be working in her room in a very dark environment. This is not acceptable for mental health or working conditions.

6. This development will have detrimental effects on our living standards, privacy and health. This is going to affect every resident's privacy. All of us will be under heavy stress which can cause significant damage to our health and everyday living conditions both during construction and even more-so after completion due to significant increase in population density, noise, nuisance and anti-social behaviour. There are six young children in our block and their lives deserve better than this scenario. This development, if approved, will have an unbearable impact on the mental and physical health of every resident and child in this small 4-storey building.

7. The development of towers next to Pinnacle Tower (18 Storey tower to the South of Shams Court) and the Novotel (19 storeys to the West of Shams Court) have already left us with very little natural light and an extremely claustrophobic environment to live in. Our privacy has already been significantly reduced with existing towers. Approving this development will remove any remaining privacy that we have.

8. The layout and density of this development is clearly over-development and is overbearing in depth and height. Leading to all forms of uncomfortable situations. The construction will have detrimental effects on living standards, noise levels, cranes, dust emissions, demolition, digging and construction and trackout of materials and heavy vehicle noise will lead us to living in a terrible environment.

9. Noise levels, anti-social behaviour, disturbance and nuisance from overcrowding of a very small area with thousands of people will significantly affect our quality of life on a daily basis. We already struggle with noise in the area and this will increase it infinitely.

10. The ground stability will certainly be compromised with the large-scale excavation proposed. We share an underground basement with the existing Novotel hotel and further construction of this nature can lead to a weak structure and compromise the safety and integrity of all the surrounding buildings.

We kindly ask Brent council to understand the detrimental effects this proposal will have on the residents of Shams Court. We trust you to protect us from this loss of all natural light, increased noise pollution, disturbance, loss of privacy and increase in anti-social behavior.

We hope you will protect us from these outrageous, inconsiderate proposals.








Anonymous said...

Brent Council (not) looking after its residents again.

David Walton said...

And Brent proposes building on Wembley City River Park (Brent River Park) nearby?

Was talking to a major landowner at the new transport super hub Harlesden south and they said connecting Old Harlesden to its own new transport super hub was "political." (I was pitching that idea).

Would have thought that developers collectively seeking to exclude existing Harlesden is what is "political", how times have changed......

Footbridges left to rot for new car-free housing tower residents.

Philip Grant said...

Look at the picture at the start of Martin's article above, and try to relate it to these comments on the design from the Planning Officer report [my versions in square brackets]:

'65. The proposed roof extension to the Novotel at 5 Olympic Way has undergone extensive design development at pre-application stage to refine its appearance; this now relates well to the façade of the existing building whilst also establishing a new façade language that is distinct;'

[Translation: It looks a mess.]

'69. Overall, the façade treatments of the scheme are considered well-composed and articulated, making good use of layering to give an impression of depth and robustness;'

[Translation: It goes up in steps.]

'71. The scheme presents legible communal entrances to the wider streetscape, giving it a clear identity and creating a strong sense of arrival for residents/visitors;'

[Translation: There are doors into the building from Olympic Way.]

Anonymous said...

Hope your concerns and objections are listened to and the application is rejected.

Anonymous said...

Seems like Brent is determined to meet the Local Plan new homes target for 2041 before 2031, by cramming tower blocks on Wembley Park, in schemes that are too dense and too tall - and to hell with the quality of life for existing and future residents!!!

David Walton said...

Towers must link to a wider agreed and transparent human needs based re-development plan particularly if new car-free. Brent River Park 2023 proposed to be housing built on is only 400 metres walk away. Poor quality for colonial developer only opaque plan leads to Planning Applications such as this at Olympic Way.

South Kilburn, a 17 storey one staircase new tower is on site and Brent in parallel proposes building on the park opposites veteran woodland?

Same architects (for both these green space proposed destruction plan degrades).

New Harlesden Major Town Centre with its severed and segregationist growth opaque aim. Only in Brent too, a literal composting of existing footbridges across rail lines built for supporting active travel.

Back to the poor quality planning applications to support poor quality urbanism Brent zoned.......

Kings Cross and Paddington developments reconnect and greatly enhance the much wider local, conservation areas residents visit them such is their quality- Wembley East? Harlesden Major Town? Kilburn Wall- clearly highest quality plans required and site builds quality will then massively improve.

Major re-developments, to zoom out or to zoom in? New Kings Cross and Paddington both zoomed out, RECOMMEND.

Anonymous said...

How many of the Brent Councillors and their families would choose to live in these tower blocks?

We know most council officers live in nice places like Oxford, Surrey, Hertfordshire etc so they don't care what happens in Wembley.