Letter on Kilburn Square

Residents in Kilburn Square and nearby streets have launched a petition against planned over-developments

Residents in Kilburn Square and nearby streets have launched a petition against planned over-developments - Credit: Bill Davis

Say not to Kilburn plan

Keith Anderson, chair, Kilburn Village Residents’ Association, writes:

Following your excellent article on the Kilburn Square petition last week, I’d like to add a little context.

This oversized plan for continuing “infill” on the stable, sociable estate – managed as a co-op by its residents, unlike most Brent-owned estates – was first sprung on unsuspecting residents nine months ago.

“Infill” may be accepted industry jargon when nothing is being demolished; but to a lay person it implies small increments on bits of land with no important function on a site.

But in Kilburn Square, adding 180 further flats to the first instalment of 24 units completed last year would increase the resident population by over 80pc - with a reduction in the public space. It doesn’t take a genius to figure that that must be serious overcrowding.

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Moreover the land to be used for some of the proposed new blocks would remove valued green space and mature trees – with an adverse effect on air quality and visual amenity and increased pressure on the inadequate drainage infrastructure – the adjacent road already flooded in the recent heavy rain.  

CGI image of how Kilburn Square might look

CGI image of how Kilburn Square might look - Credit: Brent Council

The estate forms part of our residents’ association, Kilburn Village – and we have for six months been posing serious questions and asking the project team to produce evidence that the plan complies with all relevant design norms – quite apart from addressing the impact on the atmosphere and sense of “Place” by which Brent policymakers set so much store.
Serious engagement with local neighbours was postponed for two months while Brent “reviewed the designs”. 

We assumed this would produce a smaller Plan B. But no, out came the discredited Plan A. 
So, surprise, surprise, four Zoom meetings this month with community groups produced a predictably comprehensive thumbs down.

Cllr Southwood keeps repeating the mantra that “nothing is decided” and that the final project will be something that “works for everyone”. Yet last Monday Brent’s Cabinet approved a panoply of enabling measures designed to remove any legal or procedural obstacles to the full Plan A.

Small wonder that a local resident launched the petition for a much smaller scheme chng.it/xwxLyYcDhP  and that it has around 800 signatures – and counting.

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