Wembley neighbours fearful of crime accuse council of destroying vital car park spaces to build four bungalows
PUBLISHED: 09:45 01 March 2019 | UPDATED: 09:46 01 March 2019
A community in Wembley claims Brent Council is putting profit above people's safety with its plans to level garages and build four "luxury" bungalows - none of them at social rent.
Neighbours in Kings Drive, Wembley, are urging Brent Council to drop plans to destroy 12 garages and a car park at the top of a hill.
Brent Housing Partnership put in an application in 2017 that was accepted by the council, and residents say they have been told to expect notices to quit their garages on March 1.
Dawn Condouriodise, speaking on their behalf, said: “The plans are to destroy the garages and car park, which houses more than 40 cars, for four private bungalows – no social housing, no affordable housing. We’re tucked away at the top of a hill – this will cause dire problems.”
She said the road is lined with cars head to tail every day and after 6pm. The small car parks throughout the estate see vehicles “double parked, treble parked and, in desperation, on the grass”, she added. “I come back from my mum who is in a nursing home and I don’t know where I’m going to go.”
What’s more, they believe the place the council wants them to park instead isn’t safe. A council survey in 2017 revealed plans to “reprovide” spaces in Greenhill Way due to the fact the existing site was “heavily parked”.
Ms Condouriodise said: “They want to move us to Greenhill Way, where a man was shot in his car and police signs have gone up telling us to ‘beware’. They are knowingly putting our safety at risk. It’s unforgivable.”
Preacher Abdul Hadi Arwani was shot dead by Leslie Cooper on the orders of Khalid Rashad in April 2015. Rashad was jailed for murder the following year.
Ms Condouriodise added: “Two elderly women were recently mugged in daylight. At the bus stop at the bottom of Kings Drive, where gangs congregate at night, my neighbour was mugged as he was walking up the road. Incidentally [it is] also where my mother was mugged years ago twice, in broad daylight.
“To risk all that for four bungalows is ridiculous. They are not even affordable. At a meeting one resident asked to go on the waiting list and was told she couldn’t afford it. It’s a profit-making scheme. The council comes up with any excuse it can to continue with it.”
Cllr Eleanor Southwood, lead member for housing & welfare reform said: “We’re determined to play our part in tackling the chronic shortage of affordable homes in Brent.
“Planning permission has been granted to turn these garages into four bungalows, which will be rented at London affordable rent.
“These homes will be available to families on our housing waiting list. I appreciate that residents may have concerns and we’re committed to working with them as we move into the next phase.”