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.



With development


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.


Anonymous said...

The area certainly requires investment and improving. This is a good start but will be a failure without enforcement of law and order, giving the levels of crime and antisocial behavour in the area.

Anonymous said...

Hi, Angela and Rachel!
Here are 301 homes. You only need to find another 1,499,699.
Brent Labour Council.