Controversial Wembley Park development could be thrown out by housing minister
- Credit: TfL
Plans for five new tower blocks in Wembley Park could be thrown out after they were put up for review by the housing minister.
An application for a 454-home development at Wembley Park Station, Brook Avenue, was called in by secretary of state Robert Jenrick following concerns around its impact on the area.
In his letter to the council, Mr Jenrick is seeking further evidence the area remains a nice place to live, keeps the area’s history in mind and will be in keeping with local housing and development plans.
The scheme, which would cover five connected blocks ranging between 13 and 21 storey's in height, was comfortably approved when brought before the planning committee in November, with only one councillor voting against the proposals.
This was despite objections from those living nearby, who suggested the plans were “unsuitable” for the area as the new buildings would “dwarf” those already in place.
Historian Philip Grant argued the development was in “flagrant breach” of Brent’s planning policies.
He said the station car park site where the homes would be built is “inappropriate for tall buildings” higher than 10 storeys.
Brent Conservatives leader Cllr Suresh Kansagra said he was “shook up” by the plans and suggested they departed from conditions outlined in the Wembley Area Action Plan, which was adopted by the council in 2015.
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A Brent Council spokesperson said: “Brent Council’s planning committee unanimously agreed on granting planning permission for the scheme, after having carefully assessed the proposal against the relevant planning policies.
“We are confident that the decision is a robust one and await the outcome of the secretary of state’s decision.”
Emma Hatch , senior property development manager at Transport for London, said: “Our proposals will contribute to the ongoing regeneration of Wembley and deliver 454 quality homes that the capital desperately needs on this highly accessible and sustainable site, along with a new retail opportunity and improvements for the local community.
“With our property partner Barratt London, we will assist the call-in process where we need to and continue to support our scheme, mindful of London’s ongoing housing crisis and our role in tackling that.”
Jim Wood, London operations managing director at Barratt London, said the scheme "is good for Wembley and good for London", with around 40 per cent of the homes being affordable."
He added: “As well as incorporating sustainability features, from green roofs to solar panels, the development will also support the community through an improved public realm, new retail and play areas for local children.
“It is a shame that this scheme will now be delayed, particularly as it had been scrutinised and backed locally by [Brent Council] and the GLA, however, we will continue to work alongside our partner TfL as we prepare for the public inquiry."