Fury as Brent Council gives green light for more student blocks in Wembley

Members of Danes and Empire Court Residents Association slam council's lack of consultation ahead of

Members of Danes and Empire Court Residents Association slam council's lack of consultation ahead of giving green light to another tower in Wembley - Credit: Archant

Campaigning residents in Wembley have accused Brent Council of “flagrant disregard” for the community after planning chiefs gave two more student blocks the green light.

Members of the Danes and Empire Court Resident Association (DECRA) want Brent Council to reconsider the application to build two towers in Albion Way claiming those most affected were not adequately consulted.

Council planning chiefs agreed the development of a 13-storey and 17-storey tower to be used as student accommodation at a meeting on December 13, which residents say will dwarf the small four storey blocks on their estate.

Fatema Karim-Khaku, a member of DECRA, said: “We did not receive many consultation letters on this application despite being the most directly impacted by it. They did send it to the students in nearby blocks but they won’t be here in three years time. It’s a flagrant disregard for local residents.

“We already have three high-rise blocks with more than 1,400 students living nearby and are impacted by anti-social behaviour in our estate. Young families live on our estate and these children now have to deal with the smell and presence of drugs.

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“We’re not against development, we want to see more retail space and mixed use flats. This has been a nonsensical tick boxing exercise which will lead to the ghetto-fication of North End Road. Approving this application has just made it worse.”

But Brent Council maintained the consultation was fair with notices placed on its website, advertised in the local paper and letters sent to “all properties within a 100m radius”.

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A spokesman added: “Residents can register for alerts on new planning applications that have been lodged with the council and the consultation was also available online for anyone to have their say. The planning committee then reached its decision having considered planning law and policy, the consultation feedback and the overall merits of the scheme.”

Resident Anne Finesilver, said: “A long time ago we were consulted on what was Victoria Hall and got specifications changed. A lot has changed since then and not for the good.

“The buildings are getting taller and closer. We’ll lose all our natural light, all the views of the stadium. We’re not New York City here, we’re a tiny, tiny area. They can’t just build whatever they want.”

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