409 new homes on way for Wembley regeneration – but none for social rent

An artist's impression of the new housing.

An artist's impression of the new housing. - Credit: Archant

Brent Council has signed off 409 new homes as part of the Wembley regeneration project – but none of them will be for social rent.

The council’s planning committee on Thursday night approved a development of up to 21 storeys at the site of the Olympic Office Centre in Fulton Way along with another development next to Wembley Stadium station, which will be entirely made up of affordable homes.

In the Wembley Office Centre development, 30 per cent of the homes will be affordable and of those 43 will be under shared ownership and 34 available at “London affordable rent” which is considerably lower than Brent Council’s affordable homes requirement. Network Homes said they are able to offer these homes at a discount as they are receive funding from the Greater London Authority to redevelop the Olympic Office site.

In the Wembley Stadium station development, there will be 156 “affordable” homes, available for up to 80pc of market value.

Town hall planning chief Cllr Shama Tatler said: “We are committed to providing a range of homes people in the borough need and I welcome this development, which will bring more quality affordable homes for Brent residents.”

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The Olympic Office Centre project was backed by the committee after members quizzed officers about the site.

Planning officer Victoria McDonagh said there were concerns over light and privacy in neighbouring buildings and that the designs were slightly “below standard” in terms of play space and amenities. She also said the building would “marginally infringe” on views of the Wembley Arch – but insisted these shortfalls “did not outweigh the benefits” of the scheme and compromises were part of the deal when it came to developments in dense urban areas.

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Committee chair Cllr James Denselow added: “We always need to think about balance when it comes to these schemes.

“It’s about weighing up what the borough needs and how we can best go about providing this.”

Network Homes’ executive director David Gooch said 30pc affordable homes was more than in most Brent housing projects, and that the affordable rental homes would be at London Affordable Rent rates – which are less than affordable rent and closer to social rent figures. He told the Times: “Network Homes is a social business and all our profits are reinvested to meet our objective of building more affordable homes for people who need them most.

“The sale of private homes in this development will play an important part in financing the redevelopment of the Olympic Office Centre.”

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