Brent’s planning committee approves 219 new homes in South Kilburn despite concerns locals will be priced out
PUBLISHED: 15:17 26 February 2020
Plans to build more than 200 new homes as part of South Kilburn’s major regeneration project were approved despite claims people are being priced out by such schemes.
Brent Council gave the green light to a 219-home development, which will reach up to 12 storeys, in Neville Road, Albert Road and Canterbury Terrace.
Its planning committee unanimously approved the scheme on February 18, despite objections from a community activist who suggested the scheme will "ruin the neighbourhood".
Pete Firmin, who lives in South Kilburn, questioned the price structure at the development, with many flats way outside the budget of an average worker in the borough.
There are plans to deliver just over half of the homes - 112 units - at an affordable level, which developers said was the maximum available following a viability report.
But Mr Firmin urged the council to push for more social housing and queried the limited parking at the site, which he described as a "recipe for chaos" in the area.
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"This is not about building a community - these will be buy to let properties with parking spaces that cost £45,000," he said. Is this really the housing that Brent needs when 40 per cent of its households can't afford social rents?
"Why are we building homes that cost £800,000?
"We need social housing, not that which will be sold overseas."
He added there appears to be a "separation" of doors between homes offered at social rent and those at market value - something denied by the team behind the development.
Peter van der Zwan, senior architect at Pollard Thomas Edwards, said it was a case of "simple geography" and the design of the buildings means there has to be various entrances for residents.
He pointed to the relatively high levels of affordability and said the scheme represents a key part of the overall regeneration of the area.
Last year, the council balloted South Kilburn residents on whether it should press ahead with the regeneration programme - of the 72 per cent of eligible residents who took part, 84 per cent, said 'yes'.