Plans to build 172 flats in two apartment blocks have been given the go ahead despite claims they will block neighbours' light, invade their privacy and spoil the area.

The plan was approved at a recent meeting of Brent Council’s planning committee on Wednesday (May 10), as four councillors voted in favour, whilst one voted against and another three abstained.

Property developers Hycgan have been granted permission to build two huge tower blocks - one 10 storeys tall with 30 apartments, called Eastcote, and one 26 storeys high containing 141, called Pinnacle Tower - following the demolition of Olympic House – an empty office block in Olympic Way.

There will also be a completely new 23-storey hotel with 260 rooms at 3 Olympic Way, adding a six-storey extension on the existing ten-storey Novotel at 5 Olympic Way – providing an extra 95 rooms – and two new food shops at ground floor level beneath the new hotel and Pinnacle Tower.

Wembley residents had been fighting the plans since they were originally tabled back in June of 2021.

Resident Jane Aherne told the committee that the development will “fully engulf” her home. 

She said the buildings will “block daylight to habitable rooms to a level beyond what is acceptable.” She also accused the applicant of making “deliberately misleading statements” over claims she has been served notice about the loss of her parking space. She denied this claim.

Residents had voiced their anger during the latest round of consultations earlier this year. One said: “Over a period of several years our quality of life has declined considerably due to the building of numerous very tall blocks of flats and student accommodation.”

They added: “The days of enjoying an afternoon sitting on my balcony are a distant memory and with this proposal, we will be almost constantly living in the shade.”

Councillor Michael Maurice told the committee that he is “very concerned” about the development and asked the developers if they actually care about their neighbours. Director of town planning consultancy firm ROK Planning, Alun Evans, replied that the developers do care about the neighbours and told the committee that the plan was a “striking example of regeneration”.

He added: “There is a clear line of sight between each of the blocks, what you’re not getting is a wall of development. The proposal is being delivered by the owner and occupier of the Novotel. who are based in Wembley. This is their home, so there is a self-imposed duty of care to deliver a high quality scheme."

Regarding the dispute about whether the parking space loss notice had been served correctly, Mr Evans told the committee that it was served to the leaseholder of Ms Aherne’s house – Network Homes – in accordance with regulations.

The 141 apartments in Pinnacle Tower will comprise 70 one-beds, 64 two-beds, and seven three-beds for private sale at market rate, whilst the 30 flats in the Eastcote block would contain seven one-beds, 15 two-beds, seven three-beds, and one four-bed affordable units – the equivalent of 19.4 per cent.

Responding to the amount of affordable housing, Cllr Arshad Mahmood said: “Looking at this, I see it as a very undesirable development. We have seen other developers in the area with a much better offer.”

Mr Evans replied: “The position that’s been arrived at is the offer before you is the maximum viable at this stage. If the committee determined to grant planning consent this evening […] the affordable provision will be reviewed again in the design process.”

Despite these concerns, the plan was given the green light by the committee. Although there are significant breaches of light regulations within the development, planning officers said the rules can applied “flexibly” in sites where it is more built up. They “acknowledged the impact” of the development but said that is “to be expected” in dense areas.