Committee gives 'unacceptable' Wembley Park development green light

high rises approved by Brent's planning commitee in Wembley Park

Image of the high rises approved by Brent's planning committee in Wembley Park - Credit: Brent Council

A major development next to Wembley Stadium was approved by councillors despite concerns about security and the low level of affordable housing on offer.

Brent Council’s planning committee yesterday (April 28) narrowly approved a scheme at a storage site, in First Way.

The owners of the land, Access Self Storage, seek to provide 600 new buy-to-let flats, some storage provision, and office and retail space in five blocks ranging from 12 to 24 storeys.

However, several councillors were disappointed to see just ten per cent of the homes classed as affordable, with 36 three-bed properties offered up at London living rent and 24 one-bed flats at 35 per cent below market rate.

There were also concerns about a heightened security risk, given the tallest block would be above the ‘bowl’ of Wembley Stadium meaning, at some points, one could see into the open section of the ground.

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Labour's Cllr Daniel Kennelly (Preston ward) suggested it was “unacceptable” there could be views of the stands, including the royal box, from the proposed development.

He was joined by councillors Michael Maurice (Con, Kenton) and Robert Johnson (Lab, Northwick Park) in voting against the plans, with all three also criticising the amount of affordable housing and number of family-sized units.

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Council planning officers explained the affordability levels were at the maximum amount to ensure the scheme remained viable and pointed out there had been a clear move towards offering low rent on the relevant properties.

They added the Metropolitan Police and the Football Association, who had both initially raised concerns about the height of the development and its proximity to the stadium, were now “comfortable” following further engagement with the council and the developer.

Planning committee chairman Cllr Matt Kelcher (Lab, Kensal Green) alongside Saqib Butt Lab, Sudbury), Liz Dixon (Lab, Dollis Hill) and Elliot Chappell (Lab, Willesden Green) voted in line with officers’ recommendations, which meant the project was approved by a majority.

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