Anger over plans by Brent Council to convert Wembley offices into B&B accommodation
PUBLISHED: 12:44 09 April 2015 | UPDATED: 12:44 09 April 2015
Residents in Wembley have attacked plans to convert a former council building into temporary accommodation for homeless families.
The proposals by the council will see Brent House in Wembley High road, transformed into 272 units offering bed and breakfast accommodation for up to 628 people.
The units are non-self contained so the families, who will live there for up to a year, will share kitchen and bathroom facilities.
However the plans have upset locals who have launched a petition and submitted 75 objections on the council website.
Following their concerns the council has slashed the number of occupants for the accommodation to 150.
A high number of the objections are from residents who live in Elizabeth House, a block of shared-ownership flats which is next to the building.
One resident, who asked not to be named, told the Times: “This area is congested already there’s no way it would be able to cope with more people.
“It’s a silly idea and has been thought through properly.”
Another resident said on the council website: “We have a national stadium at our door step, which is an iconic symbol around the world and your brilliant plan is to bombard it with 600+ homeless people?
“Wembley is already becoming overly congested, especially with road works, new hotels, new high class apartment blocks, traffic is already at a premium, not even mentioning what it is like on event days.”
Another objection states: “This will have detrimental effect on our neighbourhood.
“Not only will this downgrade the value of the area but create an inimical and hostile environment for those of us living here.
“Brent Council has spent millions for the regeneration of Wembley and I am shocked that such a proposal is even being considered.”
According to housing charity Shelter, there are currently 3,393 homeless families in Brent.
With an estimated 20,000 people on its housing waiting list, the borough has one of the highest numbers in London.
Jon Lloyd-Owen, operational director for housing and employer at Brent Council, said: “In response to concerns from local residents, we are amending the planning application for Brent House to cap the number of occupants to 120.
“This is a short-term measure to provide much needed temporary accommodation for local people in need. Longer term, it is intended that Brent House will be redeveloped and provide around 270 new homes.”
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