Concerns over increase in basement applications in Queen’s Park conservation area

Brent Council urged to take a ‘robust approach’ towards controversial developments

Queen’s Park residents are calling on council chiefs to curb the number of basement applications being approved in the conservation area.

Members of Queen’s Park Resident’s Association (QPARA) want town hall bosses to adopt a “robust approach” to the controversial developments following an increase in numbers.

The call comes after an application for a basement in Carlisle Road was passed by the council’s planning committee last week.

Elaine Henderson, a member of QPRA told the Times there were around seven applications passed within the conservation area in the last few years.

She said: “We’re not opposed to the idea of basements but we are opposed to basements in the Queen’s Park Conservation Area.

“We don’t feel that the members of Brent Council’s planning committee are acting to protect the area or the residents by voting through applications to excavate basements.

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“We call on the committee members to take a stand against subterranean development.”

Basement applications have attracted controversy from critics who claim they can impact on neighbouring properties and cause long term structural damage.

Cllr James Denselow, a Labour councillor for the Queen’s Park ward said basements were a ‘long standing issue’ in the ward.

He said: “The concerns are two fold, while we recognise this is not a borough wide problem at the moment, it has been on the increase here.

“Neighbouring boroughs such as Camden and Kensington and Chelsea all look at the wider issues as part of any application and have a firm planning policy in place.

“It’s time for Brent to adopt a more robust position and take lead from these boroughs.”

A Brent Council spokesman admitted they did not have a specific planning policy on the creation of basements but their approach would be considered in the near future, specifically in Queen’s Park.

He added: “The council is aware that basements do generate a range of concerns for some residents.

“However, any proposals that include alterations to the front of a building in a Conservation Area still need to be assessed in terms of the impact that they have on the character, appearance and the property.”