New homes fight for Kilburn residents who paid £600k for freehold to stop developments

Imram Sheikh and Aleem Saddiqui (pic: Adam Thomas)

Imram Sheikh and Aleem Saddiqui (pic: Adam Thomas) - Credit: Archant

When a group of residents in Kilburn clubbed together to buy the freehold of their flats they thought it would stop their estate from falling into the hands of developers.

More than 75 residents in Jubilee Heights and Cedar Lodge on Shoot-Up Hill, contributed to the £600,000 cost of the freehold of the estate in 2014.

However a strip of land which is in the car park wasn’t part of the deal and its owner wants to build a six-storey block of luxury flats on the site.

The residents have vowed to fight “tooth and nail” against the plans by developers Abbey Mews Ltd claiming the building would block access to emergency vehicles, take up valuable parking space and leave their estate “ridiculously overcrowded”.

Brent Council agreed and rejected the proposals in July but the developers claim the decision is unfair and have applied to Greg Clark, the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, to overturn the ruling.

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Mike Rance, who owns a property in Jubilee Heights, said: “This has been a complete nightmare for residents.

“We will fight it absolutely tooth and nail it’s completely ludicrous that they want to reduce the number of access points to just one by building a separate block and using our facilities while having nothing to do with our community- we have no intention of backing down.”

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Aleem Siddiqui, another Jubilee Heights resident, added: “We are incensed and sorely disappointed that the developers have decided to appeal the council’s decision with the secretary of state.

“We are already ridiculously overcrowded here and they want to cram this building wherever they can.”

Robert Fletcher, director of Abbey Mews Ltd, told the Times: “We are taking out appeal to the secretary of state because a professional planning officer recommended our plans for approval and they were turned down because residents got involved. We feel it’s been unfair.”

He added his company faces a 10-week wait for confirmation its appeal will be considered and said he was in “no rush to sell” his plot of land.

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