This is a letter written to Brent Council by a resident of Newland Court, Wembley Park. The Council's planning application will be heard at Brent Planning Committee on Wednesday.
Dear Brent Councillors and Committee members,
I am a resident at Newland court and wish to express my dismay and concern at the Newland Court infill proposals.
By the Council’s own admission the residents have raised 45 objections affecting:
- Impact of the development on the trees within the Barn Hill Conservation Area (a designated Heritage site)
- Accuracy of the submission
- Design and massing
- Wildlife and ecology
- Flood risk
- Parking reduction
- Highway and antisocial behaviour
- Safety concerns
- Noise concerns
- Mental health impact
- Equalities concern
In their response, the Council have themselves acknowledged that the proposals will cause HARM, yet they have:
- Provided yourselves with false/inaccurate/misleading/unsubstantiated information to provide assurances in favour of the development (examples of such false/inaccurate/misleading information is provided below)
- Disregarded the reports of Council’s own officers (eg. Transport officer, Heritage officer, Tree officers etc) highlighting the flaws with the proposal and recommending for the proposal not to be accepted. (examples also provided below).
- Brushed aside all objections by such broad-brush statements as " The potential harm is outweighed by the overall planning benefits of the scheme". Despite acknowledging the HARM, they brush them to one side, without providing any basis, or analysis on which their 'conclusion' is reached. Were potential benefit and harm criteria determined against which an unbiased analysis could be undertaken? Was there any verifiable, transparent and jointly agreed assessment carried out? No. Just broad brush statements to give you, our Councillors, false assurance to get your "yes" vote.
Please don't let yourselves be hoodwinked or used through these tactics. Act fairly and with discernment. Your decision will impact the lives of many and will lead to a problem development that will be long remembered for its flawed decision-making. What is the legacy you want to leave behind? How do you want to be remembered for what you did?
Examples of inaccurate/false/misleading/unsubstantiated statements provided by the Council include:
1. The Council states that “the majority of residents that expressed support for the proposed development” - This statement is incorrect and without any basis
We have asked the Council to provide the list of flats/residents who support the proposals and they have failed to provide this. The majority of residents and those living on Grendon Gardens OPPOSE this development and this is evidenced by the 45 letters of objections which the residents have raised. You need to challenge these statements made by the Council to provide you with false assurance.
2. The Council’s Ecological Report says that “the site does not lie within an Ecological site” but that despite this they carried out an Ecological survey.
Yet the Council uses a chart survey dated 2007, which is outdated and ignores Philip Grant’s 2023 follow up Ecological Report which identified species of protected Bats in the trees by the garages (protected by the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 and regulations Act 1984).
3. The Council’s Arboricultural Report has mis-categorised a number of trees, provided incorrect and unsubstantiated claims about previous pruning of these trees and contradict Julie Hughes, Brent Councils’ own Tree Officers report and Grendon Gardens Arboricultural tree report.
4. The Council’s Submission on parking originally falsely stated that we had NO parking and their proposals increase our parking by 12! (See the image taken from their application below for yourselves)
Although the parking spaces were increased to 28, this provides an example of the level of false information that has been presented. We have 41 car parking spaces (which is not enough as it is) and the Council under its current plans plan to only provide 28.
The Council’s Submission says that no new public roads are being created within the site and no new public right of way is being given. Yet this is exactly what is happening. Our Private Road is being turned into a Public Road with public access.
5) Open spaces: Council’s application states that there is no loss or change of use of any open spaces. Yet they are planning to build a play area in the one open space we have inside Newland Court.
Brent Council's application is regrettably riddled with such false claims and the proposals are built on this false foundation.
Examples of the Council disregarding the recommendations of its own officers include:
- Brent's own Heritage Officer has concerns about the uncharacteristically narrow modern dwelling at the end of the row of traditional properties and the harm it will do to the conservation area.
- Brent’s own Transport Officer had recommended refusal of the proposal on the grounds that the development would:
- be contrary to Local Plan Policy BT2
- the imposition of parking restrictions for the existing residents would not be reasonable, as their properties do not form part of the planning application.
- add to on-street parking demand in an area that is unable to safely accommodate a significant amount of parking
- be detrimental to on-street parking conditions
- Brent’s own Tree Officer has serious concerns about impact on the trees (which fall within the Barn Hill Conservation area) if this proposal goes ahead.
The Site is not a good or viable long term option for houses. We ask that the Councillors deny the application.