Green light for homes scheme
A MASSIVE development, which will mean the demolition of two blocks of council flats, was approved following a heated council meeting. Bronte House and Fielding House, in Kilburn Park Road, south Kilburn, will be demolished as part of a scheme which wi
A MASSIVE development, which will mean the demolition of two blocks of council flats, was approved following a heated council meeting.
Bronte House and Fielding House, in Kilburn Park Road, south Kilburn, will be demolished as part of a scheme which will include 133 new homes, 75 of which will be affordable housing.
Most of the new flats will be in five storey blocks, but a few will be seven storeys.
At the meeting last week, residents and councillors raised concerns about what they saw as a loss of green space and extra traffic arising from the proposal.
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Resident Kim Zeineddine called the scheme 'poorly planned,' suggesting it would cause noise and traffic pollution, diminished light and a loss of green space.
She said: "It will diminish our quality of life so severely."
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Another resident, Terry Street, said there were asbestos issues with the blocks that would be demolished and the scheme would only worsen traffic problems in the area.
And Westminster Conservatives clashed with the Conservative boss on Brent Council for regeneration after he accused them of electioneering.
Westminster Cllr Arthur Moss, of Maida Vale ward, told the planning committee there was 'mass opposition' to the plans.
"This will deteriorate the quality of life for existing residents. The site is a sacrificial lamb without any purpose."
In response, Brent's regeneration chief, Cllr John Detre accused the Westminster Conservatives of electioneering on the back of the issue, at which point Cllr Moss interjected with an outspoken denial.
Cllr Moss said following the vote: "I'm very disappointed that the wrong decision was made. It is an ill conceived scheme that is a repeat of mistakes of the past."
But Kilburn Cllr Anthony Dunn, who made an impassioned speech in favour of the scheme at the meeting, said he was 'delighted' about the approval 'because this means that something real is going to be happening for south Kilburn residents.'
He said: "We made a commitment to residents and we are honouring that."
Kilburn Labour Cllr Mary Arnold told the planning committee that she would not offer a 'strong objection' but cautioned that she thought the development was 'not carefully enough planned into the wider community.'
She told the Times: "It is important that the quality of life is not diminished. We've always said that the blocks need to be rebuilt. But it needs to be remembered that these are people's homes and they should be treated with respect."
The development is part of an overall scheme to regenerate the south Kilburn estate, which was adopted in 2004 but has since faced several obstacles.