Anger mounting in Dollis Hill as new developer lodges application to add 16 extra flats to Gladstone Parade site
PUBLISHED: 13:44 15 January 2019
Confusion - and anger - surrounds a mystery bid to add 16 extra flats to an already controversial Dollis Hill development.
Neighbours were stunned to receive a letter at the weekend telling them of new plans for Gladstone Parade set out not by current site developer City and Suburban Homes but by a fresh name altogether.
It was UD Gladstone Ltd, which has applied to build 54 flats on the Edgware Road site. It claims a condition in the original planning permission, stipulating a handful of affordable homes should be built alongside the private flats, made the entire plan “unviable”.
Brent Council originally gave City and Suburban Homes the green light to demolish all existing buildings and garages on the site and build a five-storey building with 38 flats, retail space and a pub on the ground floor in June 2017.
Even then, of those 38 flats, only 10 were earmarked for “affordable” rents.
Highly popular retailers were evicted from the 1920s parade in April including Skippers Fish and Chip shop, San Monique hairdressers – which has been going for 50 years – and the General Convenience store, which sat on the corner for 60 years.
But now a totally different company, UD Gladstone Limited, has put in a fresh application, following pre application talks with Brent Council on August 3.
In its planning statement, written up by Lichfields UK, it said: “With regard to the provision of affordable housing, [...] scheme viability is challenging.”
Even more confusingly, Brent Council signed off a section 106 agreement relating to a levy associated with the original proposals, by the first applicant, on December 18 – the day after UD Gladstone put in its own plans.
Alison Hopkins, of Dollis Hill Residents’ Association, said: “This application stinks. The original application was bad enough.
“When did [the site] change hands and how come the section 106 agreement was signed off in December, by which time the developer had sold the site off?”
She criticised developers for trying to “squeeze more flats in”.
A council spokesperson said: “Developers often choose to amend their schemes when they have planning permission and may discuss various options on the same site.” He did not explain why two separate developers were now apparently working on plans for the same site.
If the new scheme is accepted by officers it will go to the planning committee, he added.