Sudbury: Plan for 52 one-bed flats falls through after appeal

Local neighbours urge TfL not to sell the car park at Sudbury Town Station to developers. Picture: J

Local neighbours urge TfL not to sell the car park at Sudbury Town Station to developers. Picture: Jonathan Goldberg - Credit: Jonathan Goldberg

Plans to build 52 one-bedroom flats in Sudbury Town station car park appear dead and buried after the Planning Inspectorate threw out an appeal.

Developer Pocket Living had appealed to the high level after Brent Council’s planning committee rejected their proposal for the five-storey block in June 2020.

The inspectorate agreed with the assessment of Brent Council’s leadership that the project “doesn’t provide the genuinely affordable, family housing which Sudbury residents need”. 

A spokesman for the council’s ruling Labour group said: “Alongside Sudbury residents we also raised concerns about the impact on parking in the area, especially disabled parking.

“We argued the planning inspector should reject Pocket Living’s appeal and refuse the development, as did Brent Council.”

They added: “In his judgement, the planning inspector highlights that the development won’t provide the appropriate mix of housing unit types – a clear breach of Brent Council’s local plan. We hope this will come as good news.”

Pocket Living had already downscaled the plan from 61 units to 52. 

The planning inspector John Dowsett’s reasons for refusal included impact on highways and its inability to meet the requirements of the council’s development plan. 

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He wrote: “There is evidence of a demand for one bedroom, one person, intermediate sale properties in the borough. However, it is important not to conflate demand with need as they are not synonymous. 

“Housing ‘need’ is an indicator of existing deficit and the number of households that do not have access to accommodation that meets certain normative standards. 

“Housing ‘demand’ is a market driven concept and relates to the type and number of houses that households will choose to occupy based on preference and ability to pay.”

Marc Vlessing, chief executive of Pocket Living, said: “We note this decision with deep regret, especially considering the positive recommendation from LB Brent’s planning officers. 

“There is a critical shortage within Brent, and across London, of affordable homes for hard-working people on moderate salaries.

“As a developer who specialises in the delivery of discounted homes for exactly these people, it is extremely disappointing that this proposal for 52 affordable homes, ready to come forward, has been stymied. 

“This decision is a massive blow to the aspirations of local key workers who have done so much to keep London and Brent safe over the pandemic.”