Brent tower block plans may fall foul of planning law

CGI image of how Kilburn Square might look

CGI image of how Kilburn Square might look - Credit: Brent Council

Plans to revamp a West London estate with a giant tower block may fall foul of a fresh ban on tall buildings in the area.

The Planning Inspectorate ruled that Kilburn Square will not be designated as a tall building zone, which could jeopardise Brent Council’s ambitions to build a huge apartment block on the site. 

The council has put forward plans for 180 homes on the estate, including a 17-storey ‘landmark building’. 

It suggested this new building would ‘mirror’ an existing tower, with plans to complement it with satellite blocks. 

The plans have been met with opposition from residents living nearby who said they would not be in keeping with surrounding buildings, most of which are low-rise.

While they have recognised the need for more housing in Brent, they believe such a sudden increase in the number of homes in the area would be unwise.

A spokesperson for Kilburn Village Residents’ Association said: “The council keep saying it’s a brilliant estate but if you make these changes it might no longer be brilliant.”

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The Planning Inspectorate announcement means buildings at Kilburn Square could be limited to around six or seven storeys. 

This has eased fears the area could follow other parts of Brent which have changed dramatically over the past decade and have been compared to New York or Hong Kong. 

The council pointed out Kilburn Square already had a tall building and had strong public transport links. 

However, the inspector said the application for a tall building zone at this site would go against Brent’s own local plan. 

The inspector explained: “It is not a location identified or considered as part of this evidence and accordingly we are unable to recommend its allocation as a tall buildings zone.”

Residents described the decision as ‘welcome news’ and they are waiting to see how the council reacts. 

In a statement, the Kilburn Village Residents’ Association said: “The Planning Inspectorate report means the options being offered will no longer be permitted. Residents are now waiting for a response from Brent”. 

Brent Council has been contacted for comment.