Changes to Wembley development approved by council
- Credit: Brent Council
Changes to a major planning application near Wembley Stadium will go ahead despite suggestions they would cause more harm than good.
At a meeting on March 10, Brent Council’s planning committee unanimously approved variations to a proposed scheme off Olympic Way, Wembley, which is part of a wider development that seeks to provide thousands of new homes.
The alterations included increased height and density to some of the buildings – including an additional 12 and 18 storeys at two tower blocks – but suggested these be moved slightly to reduce the effect on neighbouring properties.
However, many of those living close to the proposed site suggested the changes would have a “destructive impact” on the surrounding area.
“We are not talking about a few homes; the scale of the impact is far-reaching,” said Yosef Mahmood, who lives in Wembley’s Marathon House.
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“Critically, it offers no tangible benefit in return. The number of homes being delivered in the wider masterplan remains unchanged and [the council report] provides no specific details about what the benefits are."
He believes approving the scheme could set a precedent in allowing developers to make “bite-sized” changes to a larger programme without taking into account the wider impact on the area.
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A report by Brent Council officers acknowledged some neighbouring properties would suffer a “loss of light” under these new measurements but suggested “levels of daylight and sunlight enjoyed would remain at acceptable levels for a dense urban context”.
It also argued the overall impact is “acceptable” given the wider benefits of the scheme, such as new affordable housing, open public space and employment opportunities.
Officers explained the new plans would also provide environmental benefits by creating more green space at the proposed park and through a rooftop green corridor to offset what they admitted is becoming “a bit of a concrete jungle”.
While several councillors pushed officers on the loss of light – and the weight of this against any perceived benefits – all members ultimately agreed with the recommendations to approve the scheme.