Willesden Green development given green light despite opposition

Willesden Green Garage

Willesden Green Garage will be redeveloped into a seven storey block with 76 flats - Credit: Google

Six more flats will be added to a proposed housing development in Willesden on the site of a former petrol station, despite neighbours concerns.

Brent Council’s planning committee yesterday  (March 29) approved a variation to a scheme at Willesden Green Garage, in St Paul’s Avenue.

The new plans, which involve a number of alterations, will provide 76 flats in a building up to seven storeys high, as well as 18 car parking spaces and a children’s play area.

It was given the green light despite objections from some of those living close to the site who suggested the “cumulative changes” to the application would, overall, lead to a “substantial negative shift”.

They were supported by Willesden Green representative Cllr Fleur Donnelly-Jackson who agreed there were several issues still outstanding in this “significantly different” application.


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She suggested the lack of increase in affordable or family-sized homes should be reviewed and noted the impact of more properties on existing amenities, particularly at a time when people are likely to spend more time at home in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Mark Gibney, head of planning at Avison Young, the agent for the development, explained the changes were made as the original plan was “not as efficient as it could be”.

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He added they were “well within the realms of what can be achieved in terms of making changes” and pointed out the entire building will be moved 1.2 metres to mitigate any potential increase in the impact of noise on neighbouring properties.

The original scheme for 70 homes was rejected by the council’s planning committee following concerns around the impact it would have on sunlight for surrounding buildings but approved following an appeal in December 2019.

But councillors agreed with the new measures outlined in the planning officers’ report, which suggested there would be no further damage to the surrounding area when compared with the extant permission.

Seven councillors on the committee voted to approve the application, with only Conservative councillor Michael Maurice rejecting the proposals.

He cited the “bulk” of the scheme as the key reason for his opposition, suggesting the developer is attempting to “squeeze extra flats in”, making it an “overdevelopment”.
 

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