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Grand Union: Work on landmark 3,000-home development in Alperton gets under way this week

PUBLISHED: 15:29 02 July 2019 | UPDATED: 15:29 02 July 2019

Cllr Muhammed Butt plants a shrub at the launch of St George developers Grand Union in Alperton

Cllr Muhammed Butt plants a shrub at the launch of St George developers Grand Union in Alperton

Archant

A huge new development in Alperton that will see 3,000 homes built on derelict land in Alperton has been welcomed by neighbours.

Image of how the Grand Union in Alperton by developers St George will lookImage of how the Grand Union in Alperton by developers St George will look

Grand Union, the 22-acre former Northfields Industrial Estate, will turn the former Northfields Industrial Estate into a canalside neighbourhood in Alperton.

Some 35 per cent of the 3,030 homes will be classed as "affordable" - 70pc of those will be homes for "affordable rent" (up to 80pc of market rate, and no more than the Local Housing Allowance rate, currently about £200 for a single-bedroom property in Alperton), and the remaining 30pc of the "affordable" portion for shared ownership.

None of the homes will be for social rent, but Brent does not stipulate that developers should provide any.

St George, the firm behind Grand Union, is launching its marketing suite on Thursday to herald the start of physical work.

When complete, the development will also include a community centre, nursery, a commercial gym, a "canal-side piazza" with a bar and restaurants, and a shop.

The Kilburn Times went out and about last week to ask neighbours what they thought about the plans to dramatically change their area.

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"There is nothing there at the moment so anything is an improvement really," said Amir Hasan, 24, a customer assistant at Tesco.

But he added: "There definitely should be council houses in the development. There is a huge need for social housing and new developments should be helping fill the demand."

The developer has been at pains this week to point out that all Grand Union's "affordable rent" homes could be fully covered by housing benefit, even though they were not as cheap as social rent homes.

Construction worker Jaoao Garcia, 34, said: "I was expecting them to build some social housing. It is surprising that they didn't around here."

Yasmine Abdullah, a 26-year-old warehouse assistant, added: "The nearest shops are far away. There is nothing around here and it would be good to have something close to here.

"I would say there being no [social] housing is a bad thing because there are loads of families that need a place to live. Not everyone can afford to rent privately."

The developer was at pains to point out that all of the "affordable rent" homes could be covered by housing benefit and would be available to the council to place families in.

Piers Clanford, managing director of St George, said the launch was a "hugely exciting milestone".

"Grand Union has been carefully designed with the local community in mind to connect seamlessly with the surrounding Stonebridge and Alperton area," he said, "as we create an exciting new neighbourhood with a wealth of amenities and uses, high-quality homes and beautiful, accessible public spaces."

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