Wednesday 17 July 2024

Wembley strikers against Harris Federation forced academisation win a meeting with the new Government

From Brent National Education Union

 

AFTER TAKING THEIR CAMPAIGN TO PARLIAMENT AND THE DFE IN ELECTION WEEK, UNION MEMBERS AT BYRON COURT SCHOOL SECURE MEETING WITH BRIDGET PHILLIPSON

 

NEU members at Byron Court Primary School, who have now taken 16 days of strike action to try to stop their school being taken over by HARRIS FEDERATION may have earned a reprieve. The new Education Secretary has agreed to pause the process whilst a meeting is arranged. STRIKES CONTINUE THIS FRIDAY AND MONDAY 22ND JULY in a “LAST PUSH” to stop the privatisation.

 

The school’s forced “academy order” follows an intimidating Ofsted inspection which, for staff, had parallels with the experience of Ruth Perry and resulted in the same “inadequate” one word judgement. The new Labour government  have pledged to get rid of Ofsted one word judgements and the hope is that they might now intervene and revoke the academy order to keep this as a community school.

 

BYRON COURT SCHOOL HAS PUBLISHED A REPORT TO PARENTS SHOWING RAPID IMPROVEMENT SINCE THE INSPECTION PLUS STRONG DATA RESULTS WITH YEAR 6 SATS ABOVE THE NATIONAL AVERAGE.

 

Jenny Cooper of the NEU national executive has stated:

 

We feel we could be winning this campaign. We have secured an agreement to meet with Bridget Phillipson and have been assured that there will be no academy transfer before this occurs. Well done to all our members and parents for persisting with fighting this injustice.

Tuesday 16 July 2024

Kenton escapes Wealdstone Brook flooding - did local environmental action help?




Cllr Sunita Hirani (Kenton) has posted a Tweet re yesterday's flood warning about potential flooding in Kenton (and Wealdstone and Wembley) after heavy rain last night. 

She said:

I have been informed this evening that there were no reported floodings in the Kenton area of the Wealdstone Brook yesterday (Monday 15th July 2024) evening. The Environment Agency issued a flood warning for the area of Kenton around the Wealdstone Brook at around 8 pm (Monday 15th July 2024) for potential flooding in the area at around 9pm. My videos taken at about that time show the Brook coping with the volume of water and no flooding on the road around Lindsay Drive roundabout. 

 

Maybe, just maybe, someone, somewhere, will actually admit the fact that the work we did - the Brook Way Community Biodiversity Project CIC, in conjunction with Thames Water, at Lindsay Drive roundabout in clearing the dead, decaying and diseased trees, trunks and branches, actually contributed to avoiding a flooding disaster in the Kenton area yesterday evening. 

 

I can but dream.

 

Petition launched calling for Brent Council and Wembley Stadium to consult with Brent public BEFORE 'Large Event' increase goes to Planning Committee

Brent Liberal Democrats have launched an e-petition calling for local people to have a voice in Wembley National Stadium Limited's  bid to run more large events at the stadium:

We the undersigned petition the council to Consult and to Listen to concerns of local residents and businesses about the impact of increasing the number of "Large" Events at Wembley Stadium

Plans for the new Wembley Stadium were approved in 1999 with a limit of 37 Large Events per year. A few years later Brent Council allowed an increase to 46 Large Events per year. The Stadium owners have now applied for planning permission to increase this by another 8 to 54 Large Events per year.

Large Events at the Stadium have a major impact on the lives of local people and business - especially when as many as three events are held on 3 successive days.

We call on Brent Council (jointly with representatives of the FA) to carry out an extensive public consultation with Brent residents and local businesses on the social and economic impacts of Wembley Stadium Large scale events before the Planning Application is considered by the Brent Council's Planning Committee.

We believe that local people and businesses have the right to be properly consulted and informed about these possible changes and for their views to be assessed and documented before any decision is made.

Started by: Paul Lorber (Brent Liberal Democrats)

This ePetition runs from 11/07/2024 to 22/08/2024.

SIGN HERE


Monday 15 July 2024

GOVERNMENT FLOOD WARNING!!! WEALDSTONE BROOK AT KENTON, WEALDSTONE AND WEMBLEY

 

River levels are rising rapidly on the Wealdstone Brook due to heavy rainfall overnight tonight, Monday 15th July, and flooding is expected when river levels are at their highest from 9:00pm.

 

Flooding is forecast to affect locations near the Wealdstone Brook.

 

Further rain showers are forecast tomorrow, Tuesday 16th July, but no further flooding is expected and river levels should fall from early morning.

 

We are monitoring rainfall and river levels and checking rivers for blockages.

 

Residents are strongly urged to take action now. Remain safe and be aware of your surroundings.

 

Monitor local water levels and weather conditions. Consider putting your flood plan into action. You should avoid walking, cycling or driving through flood water.

 

This message will be updated by 10am on Tuesday 16th July, or as the situation changes.

 

Flood warning area: The Wealdstone Brook at Kenton including Wealdstone and Wembley.

INFORMATION PAGE HERE

Sunday 14 July 2024

Brent Council warns on its financial situation: 'Without intervention, we will enter freefall'...'currently we are living on borrowed time'

We need to mobilise again: Anti-Austerity March July 2015 (Photo: Daily Mirror)

 

In a paper written before the General Election result was known Brent Cabinet are warned at their meeting tomorrow that the financial outlook for the Council is dire. They are facing cuts of £16m in 2025-26 and £30m in 2027-28:

 

Without intervention, we will enter freefall, heading towards the ground, with no easy way to pull back. Plainly, this will mean the functions that this council will be able to perform will be changed irreversibly, allowing for only the most vital services to remain.

 

Unfortunately, despite warnings from London Councils LINK and councils of every political hue across the country the incoming Starmer administration is sticking to its self-imposed fiscal rules and an improvement in the financing of local government and reform of the regressive council tax do not appear to be on the cards. The papers before the Cabinet repeat warnings made by the Brent finance chief last year LINK with increased intensity. This is from the Lead Cabinet Minister, Mili Patel's,  Foreword to tomorrow' report LINK:

 

While our financial monitoring is robust and an area of pride to this council, the picture that these reports paint is much more sobering. If central government is the body entrusted to preserve the health and condition of the nation, it is local government that is left to deliver it. Since 2010, Brent Council has made at least £210m of cuts and the impact continues to be felt by everyone that lives and works in this borough. In the same period, our core funding from central government has decreased by 78%.

 

We have made it clear at each Council Tax setting budget meeting, this has meant that the funding burden for Brent Council has been derived principally from Council Tax, Business Rates and Fees and Charges. In other words – local Brent residents.

 

In this period, the number of council employees has also reduced by at least 50%, shifting more work onto fewer people. As a council, we have innovated, we have identified efficiencies and we’ve continued to generate more income than ever before. These measures alone are not enough in the long-term though, but for now they are enough to keep this council on borrowed time.

 

In this financial year (25/26) officers and members will be asked to identify a staggering £16m in cuts if this council is to continue standing still as we are today. There is no doubt, these cuts will be challenging for residents and for officers and members alike.

 

It is therefore unconscionable to consider that things could still get worse. If things remain the same, the best estimate for 27/28 is that we will need to find in the region of £30m in savings.

 

Without intervention, we will enter freefall, heading towards the ground, with no easy way to pull back. Plainly, this will mean the functions that this council will be able to perform will be changed irreversibly, allowing for only the most vital services to remain.

 

Sadly, we are not alone in this position. There were more section 114 notices in 2023 than in the 30 years before 2018, with a survey from the Local Government Association showing that almost one in five councils “think it is very or fairly likely they will need to issue a section 114 notice this year or next due to a lack of funding.

 

Local authorities like Brent have become the government’s emergency provider of last resort, delivering more services than ever, patching over political paralysis; from adult social care reform to the housing crisis; it is local government left picking up the price.

 

Residents are rightly angry – as the compact between council and citizen creaks more with every year. Residents rightly expect that by paying into the system that they should see a positive dividend. It is far harder to explain to residents that they are paying not just for their bins; but for looked after children, for whom the council is morally and legally obliged to support.

 

Under the Homelessness Reduction Act, we are also compelled to support those at threat of losing their home. The common thread between the Medium Term Financial Strategy (MTFS) our Q1 report and the Financial Outturn is the enormous pressure our Housing teams are under.

 

Over 150 families per week are presenting at the Civic Centre as homeless, and this report sets out a further £10m overspend on Temporary Accommodation. The housing crisis did not begin in the council – and until there is fundamental change; things will only get worse before they get better.

 

We have many housing schemes that remain shovel ready, but without an increase in subsidy, the borrowing required means the numbers simply don’t stack up, even over the multiplier of decades. In the meantime, i4B and our New Council Homes Programme remain our only shot, but with over 30k households registered on the housing wait list, it will take a generation to put right.

 

We also continue to be subjected to macro-economic factors outside of our control. The challenges facing any incoming government will be stark – from a public sector in managed decline; to the ongoing conflicts in the Middle East and Ukraine, and the climate crisis which will continue to alter our way of life forever.

 

Compared to our European counterparts, councils in the UK have significantly fewer powers over local spending and taxation. It can perhaps be of little surprise that over the past 15 years the average British household has become £8,800 poorer than its equivalent in five comparable countries, according to research prepared by the Resolution Foundation. Sluggish growth and a “toxic combination” of poor productivity and a failure to narrow the divide between rich and poor has resulted in a widening prosperity gap with France, Germany, Australia, Canada and the Netherlands, leaving us struggling to compete internationally.

 

Without a wholesale reset, our hands remain tied, and the status-quo will prevail. We should never forget, Council Tax is based on values that are now more than thirty years out of date, and the rate structure is so heavily regressive that Buckingham Palace pays less council tax than a 3-bed semi- detached home in Blackpool. That is the reality we exist within in.

 

At time of dispatch, we will not know who will form the next government. If we are to avoid more reports like the following, something has to give. Given the opportunity, Brent Council stands ready to rebuild and renew our public services. Until then, we will use our voice wherever we can to fight for the reform’s we desperately need. For now, officers and members will continue working hand in hand to protect our residents – breathing life into the services we offer and the change we can make today.

 

A 'wholesale reset' appears unlikely at present.


Saturday 13 July 2024

At last! Tri-borough consultation opens on improvements to Kilburn High Road


 There have long been complaints about the state of Kilburn High Road, one of London's main arteries and shopping streets, and the failure of the responsible local councils to cooperate on the many issues involved,

Now Camden Council, Brent Council and the City of Westminster have launched a joint consultation on improvement plans. They say:

 Kilburn is a busy place with shops, restaurants, local services and lots of public transport links. Camden, Brent and Westminster Councils want to improve road safety and air quality along the High Road, maintain bus journey times and make it easier to catch public transport.

We also want to upgrade how the high street looks and feels.

This is your chance to share your ideas on our proposals and help shape the future of Kilburn. Your views matter to us on this scheme because we want you to enjoy being in Kilburn, to have a safer and more pleasant place for everyone to walk, shop and visit, to breathe cleaner air and for businesses to flourish.

The first consultation event will be at the Kilburn Grange Park Festival today:

Consultation events

We'd love to chat to you at one of our events below:

  • 13 July, 2024: Kilburn Grange Park Festival (12pm - 6pm)
  • 17 July, 2024: Kilburn Playhut in Kilburn Grange Park (12pm - 2pm)
  • 22 July, 2024: Online Q&A Meeting (6-7 pm)
  • 1 August, 2024: Kilburn Library (10am - 12pm)

And look out for pop-up events on Kilburn High Road, in the pink gazebo, throughout July and August!  Consultations ends August 23rd

 To take part in the Consultation and for further information go to LINK.

 

Plans below. Click on bottom right for full page view.

TODAY FROM 1PM: Cricklewood Bites and Beats on the Green by B&Q, Cricklewood Lane


 

TODAY FROM NOON: Kilburn Festival - Grange Park

 


Wednesday 10 July 2024

Director of a Vistry Group subsidiary is associated with social media attacks on Shama Tatler during the Chingford & Woodford Green election battle

 There was considerable controversy when Brent Cabinet Lead Member for Planning and Regeneration, Shama Tatler, was parachuted into the Chingford and  Woodford Green  General Election battle  after the Labour Party's ditching of popular and very local candidate Faiza Hassan.

The move led to resignations from the local Labour Party. Faiza Shaheen stood as an independent and the marginal seat was held by Conservative Ian Duncan Smith with a reduced majority.

It was not just disgruntled Labour members who campaigned against Shama Tatler. The Guardian's political media editor  Jim Waterson, drew attention on Twitter LINK to an attack campaign run by a local Tory councillor, John Moss, and Conservative  cyber campaigner Thomas James Robert Borwick.



 

The Facebook attack ads were posted by  3rd Party Ltd of which Thomas Borwick is a director. The Waltham Forest Echo carries some background on the company. LINK

 So far this may be what you would expect from a Conservative  intervention, just staying on the right side of electoral law by not openly campaigning for a specific candidate. It could be argued that it might even help Faiza Shaheen's campaign.

But there is more to it and motivations get rather murky.

Thomas Borwick has multiple director interests SEE LINK that include a directorship along with his father, Lord Geoffrey Robert James Borwick, of Countryside Properties (Bicester) Ltd.


 

Countryside Properties (Bicester) Limited is a joint venture company in which Countryside Properties (UK) Limited has an interest. Countryside Properties (UK) Limited is a wholly owned subsidiary of Vistry Group PLC. There is another 'Countryside' entity - Countryside Partnerships.

The Vistry website tell us:

Countryside Partnerships is Vistry Group’s business to business (B2B) brand. This is the partner-facing brand used when delivering mixed-tenure developments. This covers all types of homes from social rent to private sales on the open market – and everything in between, often all on the same site.

 In April 2021 Countryside received approval for all four phases of the Peel project in Brent LINK.

In May 2023 a press release from Countryside Homes announced that Brent Council has selected Countryside Partnerships as preferred bidder to build 200 homes in South Kilburn. It included a quote from Shama Tatler:

Cllr Shama Tatler, Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Planning and Growth at Brent Council, said:

"We’re now almost halfway through our 15-year regeneration programme for South Kilburn and can’t wait to get started on the next phase with Countryside Partnerships. Right across the country local authorities are grappling with spiralling inflation and building costs, but despite the challenges, we are really delighted to be able to deliver this brilliant scheme for residents. This project will create more than 200 much-needed new homes, almost half of which will be for existing South Kilburn residents. Not only will local families be given the keys to safe and secure homes, they will also enjoy a healthier environment, with more greenery and trees on their doorstep and a revamped local park.”

 Another press release in March 2024, this time from Vistry itself proclaimed construction starting at the South Kilburn site:


 In the north of Brent, Countryside, has signed up with the Sovereign Network Group (formerly Network Homes) to build 654 homes and commercial premises in Northwick Park. The full transformation of Northwick Park is being delivered through a partnership between Network Homes, London North West Healthcare NHS Trust, Brent Council and the University of Westminster.

It is a scheme with not a few of the tower blocks featured in the Facebook campaign against Shama Tatler.


 

 By now you are probably as puzled as I am.

Why did Thomas Borwick, a director within Vistry Group's several companies, launch a campaign against Shama 'Towerblock' Tatler who leads regeneration in Brent, on the basis of her support for highrise, when one of the companies is the preferred bidder for lucrative contracts in the borough for middle and highrise developments?


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bobby Moore Bridge murals – where will the advertising money be spent?

 Guesy post by Philip Grant in a personal capacity

 

I thought that I’d finished writing about the Brent Cabinet meeting on 28 May, the “decision” to allow adverts to cover the heritage tile murals in the Bobby Moore Bridge subway at Wembley Park for at least another four years, and the cover-up of how the Council Leader failed to deal appropriately with the point of order which I raised. Then, this public question to Cllr. Muhammed Butt for the 8 July Full Council meeting was brought to my attention:

 

Extract from the 8 July agenda papers, published on the Council’s website.

 

I had no idea who the questioner was, but the publicity (on “Wembley Matters”?) about the award of the new Bobby Moore Bridge advertising lease had obviously attracted his attention. My efforts had been directed at trying to persuade Cabinet members that it was worth accepting a slightly lower amount of advertising revenue, in order to put the tile murals in the subway back on public display. His question asked what the money raised would be spent on.

 

At the meeting on 28 May, Cllr. Butt had spoken about the money received from advertising on the Bobby Moore Bridge helping to 'provide residents with the services they depend on.' This was, presumably, his justification for accepting the Officer recommendation to award the new lease under Option B, because it ‘provided greater financial benefits’ (= more money).

 

Extract from the Officer Report on the advertising lease to the 28 May Cabinet meeting.

 

Cllr. Butt’s response to the Full Council public question contains a slightly different answer. Instead of services that residents depend on, he says that the money raised will be used ‘to inform residents about a wide range of council services and deliver communications campaigns.’ There is a difference between providing much needed services and simply telling residents about them!

 

Cllr. Butt refers in his response to informing residents about campaigns on ‘tackling fly-tipping’, ‘health inequalities’ and ‘community safety’. Here are some examples of how the Council does that:

 

Fly-tipping article from the Spring 2024 “Your Brent” magazine.

 

Double page spread health article from the Spring 2024 “Your Brent” magazine.

 

Brent Council press release on a community safety subject.

 

You will note that these are all positive stories about Brent’s (Labour) Council, which all feature photographs of smiling Brent (Labour) Cabinet members. As well as ‘inform[ing] residents about a wide range of council services,’ they are also promoting the Council’s majority political party, and particularly its Cabinet. Every (then) member of Brent’s Cabinet is pictured at least once in the Spring 2024 edition of the “Your Brent” magazine, with the Leader appearing five times and Cllr. Krupa Sheth topping the list with eight photos!

 

The Council has not been allowed to feature local politicians in its publicity material during the General Election “purdah” period, but on Monday 8 July (the same day that Full Council would be considering a Lib Dem motion on fly-tipping), Brent Communications was back in action, putting out a press release about a new Council campaign, with a photograph featuring … (you’ve guessed the answer!):

 

 

So, when Cllr. Butt said on 28 May that the recommendation to award the new lease under Option B had been agreed (even though no Cabinet members raised their hands or spoke their agreement – staying silent is said to be showing unanimous support for what the Leader says!), he and (allegedly) his Cabinet were deciding to put more money into the funds used for promoting themselves and their local Party! 

 

Cllr Butt, at least, must have known that is where the money would go, as his top “cross-cutting” area of responsibility (as the latest Cabinet Portfolios information shows) is ‘Communications’. That might explain why he ignored my reasonable request to allow his Cabinet the chance to vote for Option A, which would have provided a slightly lower annual rental figure (but still a minimum guaranteed figure of more that £90,000 a year).

 

I have pointed out in earlier articles that the Officer Report to the 28 May Cabinet meeting was heavily biased in favour of Option B. Although that Report was signed-off by the Corporate Director, Partnerships, Housing & Resident Services, such reports are actually prepared by one or more of the “Contact Officers” shown under the Report heading:

 


 

In this case, the main author of the Report appears to have been Brent’s Head of Communications! If, as it appears from Cllr. Muhammed Butt’s response to the question from a member of the public, the rental income from the Bobby Moore Bridge advertising lease was going straight into the Council’s Communications budget, then the Head of Communications had a clear conflict of interests. He would find it difficult to be (and I’m pretty sure he was not) impartial in making the recommendation in that Report, because Option B would provide more funding for his own department. 

 

There was no mention of where the money would go to, or the conflict of interests, in the Report. Not only was the “decision” to allow the Bobby Moore Bridge tile murals to remain covered with advertising equipment for another four years a bad decision, badly made because the case for Option A was not properly considered (if at all), and badly handled by the Council Leader at the 28 May Cabinet meeting, it was another example of the “dodgy” way in which allowing Quintain to advertise on the Bobby Moore Bridge has been dealt with ever since 2013.


 

Philip Grant.

 

Could Wembley Stadium capacity be raised to 100k for Joshua v Dubois fight?

 Talk Sport LINK has reported that Frank Warren of Queensberry Promotions expects to apply for an increase in Wembley Stadium capacity for the Joshua and Dubois heavyweight title fight on September 21st. Capacity was increased last year to 94,000 for Fury v Whyte.

Joshua's promoter has suggested that 100,000 tickets could be sold for the fight.

Tuesday 9 July 2024

Colin Road/Dudden Hill/High Road development at Planning Committee Wednesday evening

The first of the major Church End/Neasden Stations Growth Areas applikcations comes to Planning Committee on Wednesday evening:

The Proposal

The proposal is for six new blocks varying in height and mass set within a significant amount of new public realm comprising hard and soft landscaping, play equipment and new walking routes. The scheme would deliver a total of 301 residential homes, replacement light industrial floorspace and retail/ commercial floorspace within each of the blocks as summarised below:

 

Buildings A and B: Two 6-storey (plus mezzanine level) primarily residential buildings towards the northern end of the site, closest to Dudden Hill Lane. The buildings would contain a total of 58 homes comprising 14 no. one bedroom homes, 19 no. two bedroom homes and 25 no three bedroom homes, with 48 of these being affordable (all at a London Affordable Rent) and the remainder (in Block B) being private. A supermarket would be provided at ground floor level, with a GIA of approximately 1,639 sqm, and cycle/ refuse storage and lobby entrances to the residential blocks. A communal podium would be provided between the blocks to provide external amenity space.

 

Building C: This would be a part 9, part 13- storey rectilinear building (with lower shoulder and podium) situated along the same northern edge as Blocks A and B, which has a podium garden situated on top of the shoulder building. The block would contain a total of 92 homes comprising 44 no. one bedroom homes, 44 no. two bedroom homes, and 4 no. three bedroom homes, with all of these being private. The main residential lobby to the block and bin/cycle storage would be contained at ground floor, as well as the blue badge car parking serving the residential homes. A communal podium would be provided between Blocks B and C to provide external amenity space.

 

Buildings D and E: These blocks would again have a primarily residential use, with Building D having a maximum height of 19 storeys, stepping down to a shoulder height of 13 storeys, while Block E would abut this block to the immediate south-west and would be five storeys, stepping down to two storeys on the High Road frontage. The buildings would contain a total of 133 homes, comprising 46 no. one bedroom homes, 74 no. two bedroom homes and 13 no. three bedroom homes, with all of these being private.

 

The majority of the light industrial floorspace (approximately 1,931 sqm in total) would be contained within the ground floor of Building E and the rear of Building D, looking onto an industrial yard accessed from High Road. The ground floor of Building D fronting the main parade would contain a cafe (Use Class E(b)) of 66.3 sqm GIA and the residential entrances, as well as bin and cycle storage. Finally, a gym (Use Class E(d)) would be provided over ground and mezzanine levels, which has a proposed GIA of approximately 971 sqm.

 

Building F: This would be a part-3, part-5 storey building on the southern and western edges of the site, with a light industrial unit at ground floor level nearest to the High Road/ public courtyard access, and flexible Class E use (approximately 106 sqm) fronting Colin Road. The upper floors would be in residential use, containing 18 homes in total. These would comprise four no. one bedroom homes, 12 no. two bedroom homes, and two no. three bedroom homes. All these units would be private.

 

Significant landscaping is proposed throughout the site which is publicly accessible and would also contain areas for play. The landscaped areas have also been designed to form a part of the surface water strategy given that the site is in a flood risk area. The proposal would include 24 parking spaces associated with the supermarket use, accessed from Dudden Hill Lane, with a further space linked to the light industrial yard, and 9 spaces for Blue Badge parking associated with the residential homes. Cycle parking has been proposed to meet London Plan standards.

 It offers only 15.9% (per unit) affordable housing based on London Affordable Rent (LAR). 25 of the 48 LAR units will be 5 person 3 bedroom units.

 
The officers' report elaborates:
 
As discussed above, there have been specific constraints on the scheme which officers accept have had an impact on viability, and therefore the overall level of Affordable Housing proposed. In order to maximise the number of low-cost homes on the site, the proposal does not include any intermediate homes, and therefore the proposed Affordable tenure split (i.e. 100% London Affordable Rent) does not strictly meet London Plan policy requirements in terms of providing a 70:30 LAR: intermediate ratio. However, officers support the 100% weighting towards affordable rented homes given the significant need for lower-cost housing within Brent, and particularly with this being skewed towards family sized units. The GLA has also confirmed they are happy with this approach, despite the policy conflict.

 

Current

With development


Current


With development

 

The development does not meet amenity guidelines and there are loss of light issues on neighbouring properties on Colin Road, Dudden Hill and the High Road.

 


The site is not within a designated Tall Building Zone but the officers' report says:

The Local Plan does not identify the site within a Tall Building Zone, although it is located within the Church End Growth Area (CEGA) which accepts development will be taller than the surrounding context. The CEGA Masterplan SPD outlines an indicative maximum height of 10 storeys on the site, although this is largely based on the layout and massing of the blocks which were proposed under the now withdrawn 2018 scheme. Policy BD2 highlights that in all cases a tall building (one that is more than 30m in height above ground level) s must be shown to be positive additions to the skyline that would enhance the overall character of the area. They should be of exceptional design quality, consistent with London Plan Policy requirements in showing how they positively address their visual, functional, environmental and cumulative impacts. With regards to intensification corridors, policy BD2 notes that developments of a general height of 15m above ground level could be acceptable.

... Overall, the environmental impacts of the proposed tall buildings are considered acceptable.

 

Officer's Report Conclusion:


346. The proposals would result in a mixed-use re-development of an existing industrial site which is allocated within the Local Plan, and would accord with the key policy objectives of the site allocation including replacement industrial floorspace provision (including affordable workspace), new commercial uses and the provision of 301 new homes. The scheme has successfully demonstrated that it would not compromise the re-development of the other parts of the Masterplan site.


347. The new homes would include 48 affordable homes, all provided at a London Affordable Rent, with approximately 45% of these being 3-bed units. A financial viability assessment has been submitted to support the application which found that the scheme is deficit. This was evaluated by consultants commissioned by the Council who concluded that the level of deficit is lower than that set out by the applicant, but nevertheless, it is significantly in deficit. Officers consider that the amount of Affordable Housing proposed is the maximum amount that the scheme could viably deliver. Early and late stage review mechanisms are recommended to ensure that any uplift in viability is captured.


348. In terms of housing size mix, the overall proportion of family sized homes is below council policy targets, with the applicant citing the impact of the delivery of more family sized private homes on development viability and therefore Affordable Housing. The proportion of family sized affordable homes is above targets. In this instance, officers weigh the benefits of providing more Affordable homes above the deficit of private family sized homes in the scheme.


349. The proposal will result in the provision of a high quality public realm, with routes and spaces proposed at ground level which are publicly accessible. These include routes through the site together with a "square" and play spaces, and are considered to represent a significant benefit of the scheme. The architectural quality of the buildings is considered to be high, and the approach to building height, massing and composition is well considered. Although heights and massing are in conflict with the Church End Growth Area Masterplan and outside the tall building zone, it has been successfully demonstrated that the design approach is suitable and meets the key criteria of London Plan policy D9.
 

350. The quality of the homes is considered to be good, with homes meeting internal space standards and other quality factors considered and discussed in this report. Officers acknowledge that the proposal will result in some daylight and sunlight impacts, some of which will go beyond targets within BRE guidance. However, the level of impact is not considered to be excessive given the policy allocations and designations, and the benefits of the scheme are considered to outweigh the harm.


351. Following the above discussion, officers consider that taking the development plan as a whole, the proposal is considered to accord with the development plan, and having regard to all material planning considerations, should be approved subject to conditions and completion of a Section 106 Agreement.

Note that further up Dudden Hill the College of North West London site is due to be redeveloped with blocks of flats when the College moves to Wembley Park.