Willesden residents fail to stop ‘out of character’ homes being built on their street

Council chiefs given building plans the green light

Defiant Willesden residents opposed to a development which will see multi storey buildings erected in their street have vowed to carry on the fight to ensure the area is not spoiled.

Following a planning meeting on Wednesday(18), plans to tear down an old warehouse in Bryan Avenue and replace it with four new buildings were approved leaving residents furious.

During the meeting residents aired concerns and claimed the plans are ‘out of character’ with the street, which is an Area of Distinctive Residential Character.

Dr Robert Davis, chairman of Bryan Avenue Resident’s Association (BARA) told the Times he thought the plans were ‘trying to squeeze as many people in as possible’ and expressed fears over the potential of increased parking.

He said: “There are fears that there will not be adequate space to park, therefore residents may be forced to convert their garden space into parking, which would ruin the character of the area.”

Paulo Di Gennaro an architect and member of BARA insisted the fight was not over and that he would be seeking legal advice over the plans.

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He said: “It was clearly shown that the whole area will change but still the plans went through, it’s crazy.”

The street, which forms part of the Dobree Estate, has regulations in place to ensure buildings are not built beyond a certain line.

Dr Davis added: “We will be monitoring developments closely and are still hopeful there may be reconsideration.”

But, Andy Bates, team manager for planning in the south of Brent said that breaching the rules was not a significant enough problem to render the scheme unacceptable.

He added that the new building was only one metre ahead of the current warehouse therefore not detrimental.

Carol Shaw, Liberal Democrat councillor for the Brondesbury Park ward has been supporting the residents.

She said: “It’s a great shame. This will not be an area of distinctive character anymore but an area of distinctive parking.”

Brondesbury Park’s other Lib Dem councillor, Cllr Mark Cummins, who sits on the planning committee, opposed the scheme and also expressed concern over parking issues.

However, it was noted during the meeting that each of the dwellings would be set back approximately five meters from the road, allowing space for off street car parking.