Work begins on building 149 new council flats in Harlesden

PUBLISHED: 12:19 30 September 2019 | UPDATED: 12:19 30 September 2019

Wates Residential and Brent Council break the ground on Knowles House. Picture: Diane Auckland

Wates Residential and Brent Council break the ground on Knowles House. Picture: Diane Auckland

© Diane Auckland / Fotohaus Ltd. Moral Rights Asserted. All rights reserved

Work has officially started on building 149 new council homes in Harlesden.

Brent Council is working with developer Wates Residential to build on the former Knowles House site in Longstone Avenue.

Knowles House was a care home for people with dementia until 2011, when Brent Council moved the 18 remaining residents out to develop the site.

The land, still owned by Brent Council, was officially broken in a ceremony attended by Brent councillors, officers and Wates' representatives a week ago (Thu).

Two buildings are being constructed. They will provide 92 homes as temporary accommodation for homeless families and 57 flats to support the council's independent living scheme for the borough's most vulnerable people.

As part of the project, the developer and the council have also made a joint pledge to provide employment and training opportunities for local people, including the creation of apprenticeships in trade and management roles, and work experience placements.

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Managing director for Wates Residential, Paul Nicholls, said: "The Knowles House development is an extremely important project that will deliver 149 new homes for some of Brent's most vulnerable residents and will crucially boost the amount of temporary accommodation available in the area."

Last year pupils from New Primary School planted 100 sapling trees in Roundwood Park, next to the development, to help the two organisations offset carbon emissions from the project.

Cllr Eleanor Southwood, lead member for housing and welfare reform, said: "We're committed to providing suitable and affordable homes for families who are most in need.

"This project is an opportunity for us to provide high quality temporary accommodation and a safe home for people to live independently.

"The nationwide housing crisis has been decades in the making and it won't be easy to solve but we are doing everything we can to help our community.

"We now need the government to match the ambition of local councils such as ours and help us get housebuilding again."

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