Plans to build hundreds of new homes in Wembley have been slammed for not meeting the needs of local people in the area.

Brent Council, alongside property developer Wates, has signed an agreement to build 250 homes on land to the east of Cecil Avenue and a further 54 at a site opposite at Ujima House.

Designated and partly funded by the Mayor of London, the scheme aims to create new homes, jobs, leisure, retail, and workspaces, as well as improvements for pedestrians, cyclists and road users.

Cabinet member for regeneration, planning and growth Cllr Shama Tatler said: “This is fantastic news for residents of this up-and-coming area. The vision is to revitalise the eastern end of the High Road of the town centre, linking the established Wembley Central to the new Wembley Park neighbourhood emerging around the stadium.”

But Brent resident Philip Grant says none of the homes will be at the Social Rent level recommended by Brent Poverty Commission. He also notes that most of the new homes for council tenants will be at the Ujima House site, which won’t be complete until 2026.

Mr Grant said: “The reality is that the council has missed a great opportunity to build 250 genuinely affordable homes for Brent families in housing need on the Cecil Avenue site. The council owns that site, and has had full planning permission for the scheme since February 2021. 

“If they had gone ahead with the development then, borrowing the money to build the 250 homes at historically low-interest rates, the homes could be nearing completion now, and contributing a quarter of the 1,000 genuinely affordable homes which the council promised to deliver by March 2024.”

In a written objection to the original application, one resident said it would impact on key services, such as schools, health care and crime, which they claim are “already overburdened with no improvements to capacity and capability in the proposal.”

Another said: “There are already too many flats going up in Wembley, many extremely high buildings which now have direct view into our gardens.”

Alperton ward councillor Anton Georgiou suggested that there is “very little detail” about the types of homes being built.

He said: “Will the bulk of the 300 homes on these sites in Wembley be genuinely affordable? Will they be council homes for council tenants? Will they be family-sized units? How many will be shared ownership?

“Rather than demanding more of developers and ensuring we are working towards reducing the growing housing waiting list and increasing the number of genuinely affordable homes in Brent, they are letting developers like Wates dictate local supply. The gentrification of Wembley continues.”

Brent Council were approached for comment but did not respond ahead of publication.

There are currently 26,113 residents on the waiting list for a council house in the borough, with 12,683 of those needing either two, three, or four-bedroom homes.

Plans for Cecil Avenue, which had previously been the site of Copland School, include a mixed development of five to nine-story apartment blocks comprising one to four-bedroom flats and maisonettes.

A total of 152 homes will be for private sale at the Cecil Avenue site, whilst the other 152 properties on both Cecil Avenue and Ujima House will, according to the council, “ be a mixture of affordable homes for council tenants and people on middle incomes”.

Cllr Tatler added: “This scheme will create more than 300 much-needed new homes for the borough, from one-bed flats to four-bed apartments for Brent families. Half of the new homes will be affordable homes for council tenants and people on middle incomes, helping to deliver on both the council’s and the Mayor of London’s target for 50 per cent of new homes being affordable.

“This target is becoming increasingly difficult for councils to hit amid an unprecedented range of economic challenges, from spiralling inflation and construction costs to central government funding cuts and rising demand. If we could provide 100 pc affordable housing, we would do so, however, this would not be financially viable in the current climate.

“We know the importance of good quality, secure homes and despite the many external pressures being faced by councils across the country, we’re not only on track – but ahead of schedule to deliver 5,700 new affordable homes in Brent (including 1,700 council homes) by 2028.”