Wednesday 14 February 2024

Wembley Matters over the next few weeks

 Wembley Matters will be updated only occasionally over the nest few weeks. Comments will be updated when possible so leave any urgent news in the comments below.


Trevor Ellis said...

Thanks for sharing that update in the comment section Martin.

Anonymous said...

Enjoy the trip our friend

Jaine Lunn said...

Last remaining Tree on High Road has been butchered. Yes, the one on the corner of Coplands and Cecil Avenue, Yes the one that was originally outside the hoarding, Yes the one that had TPO.

Photo sent via email.

Philip Grant said...

NEWS ITEM (and possible guest post):

Is a Cabinet Report about delivering 60 homes for Social Rent at Chalk Hill what it seems?

Item 11 on the agenda for the Cabinet Meeting on 11 March is headed: ‘Proposal to deliver 60 homes for Social Rent on the Chalk Hill Estate.’ That’s great news, surely? But you have to read the Report to find out what it really means.

Social Rent is the most affordable of the “genuinely affordable” rent levels. It is the rent level at which the 2020 Brent Poverty Commission Report recommended the Council should build as many homes as possible, because most local people in housing need could not afford anything more expensive. And the Council has, so far, failed to build new homes for this rent level, unless they are existing tenants being moved from homes to be demolished.

But, hang on, does Brent own the Chalkhill Estate? Well, no. In the Report’s “Background” information section, it confirms that Brent Council transferred it to Metropolitan Housing Trust in 1996.

[It also claims that ‘Chalkhill was one of the major estates constructed in the borough by the Greater London Council in the 1960’s.’ Either current Council staff don’t know their local history, or they are trying to rewrite history, to distance themselves from the problems that led to the late 1960s “Bison” blocks being demolished only 30 years after they were built!]

In fact, it is now owned by Metropolitan Thames Valley Housing Association (“MTVH”), and it is their scheme which the Cabinet Report is considering. Cllr. Promise Knight’s “Cabinet Member Foreword” still maintains that: ‘we committed to deliver 5,000 affordable homes in the borough and are on track to achieve this.’

Her Foreword goes on to say: ‘This report sets out an opportunity to work closely with one of our strategic partners MTVH Housing to unlock 60 new social homes for residents by repurposing garage sites.’ [Note that these are now ‘social homes’, no longer ‘homes for Social Rent.’]

So, it is another infill scheme (something which Brent has not been particularly successful with so far - see my October 2023 guest post: Council housing – Does Brent know what it is doing?). But this time it is a Housing Association infill scheme, so why is Brent Council involved?

The part of the Chalkhill Estate involved in this scheme is the low-rise brick-built “Scientists” area at the eastern side of the 1960s estate. The land that MTVH want to build on ‘is subject to several outstanding third-party interests’.

It is Brent Council which has the statutory powers to over-ride these “third-party interests”, using compulsory purchase orders and stopping-up orders. As the Report puts it: ‘the scheme will be delivered by MTVH but the Council’s support will be necessary to enable delivery.’

If the proposed infill scheme does go ahead, it may produce ‘around sixty’ new homes. Although these will not be Brent Council homes, the Report does say ‘it is proposed all new homes delivered as part of the regeneration proposal on the Chalkhill Estate will comprise social housing, and the Council will hold nomination rights.’ Possibly some good news for the future.

Anonymous said...

Any news on when the Welsh Harp will be refilled ? It's concerning that this is taking so long especially after reading this re the canal at Alperton 😞


"So far, 40 birds have been taken in by the Swan Sanctuary in Shepperton after the oil - thought to be from a kitchen where takeaway delivery meals are made - was dumped in the Grand Union Canal in Alperton, west London."

BBC News - Grand Union Canal: Sanctuary saving swans caught up in London oil dump

Philip Grant said...

At yesterday's (11 March) Cabinet meeting they agreed to allocate an extra £600k of Strategic Community Infrastructure Levy ("SCIL") money for the fitting out of Preston Community Library, on the ground floor of Henry Cooper House [see my guest post last month about this new Council building on the site of the former Preston Library].

The request to Cabinet was made by the Corporate Director of Finance and Resources and the Deputy Leader & Cabinet Member for Finance Resources & Reform and Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Growth & Planning (Councillor Shama Tatler), and was 'supported by Infrastructure Officer Working Group' (whoever they are?).

The Report said:
'For Preston Library, the anticipated cost is £867,000 and there is
Neighbourhood Community Infrastructure Levy (NCIL) funding of £267,000 to
contribute to the costs of the fit out costs.'

Is it really going to cost £867k to fit out the ground floor of this structurally finished building to provide the new community facilities for Preston Community Library? Although I am no expert on current building or fitting out costs, it seems rather a high figure.

Or are the Council secretly trying to subsidise the construction costs of the whole building, because of a price overrun by Kier on that contract?

Anonymous said...

More distressing news re the canal which makes it even more important to get the Welsh Harp refilled for vital wildlife habitat: