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Seven storey block in Willesden emphatically refused by Brent planners

PUBLISHED: 09:56 01 March 2019 | UPDATED: 09:56 01 March 2019

Willesden Garage. Picture: Google

Willesden Garage. Picture: Google

Archant

There was relief for Willesden neighbours after planning chiefs emphatically knocked back plans for a seven-storey block in their residential street.

Seven of the eight members on Brent Council’s planning committee on February 13 voted against plans to build the block of 70 homes in St Paul’s Avenue on the basis it would have a negative impact on neighbours.

They cited a loss of daylight – particularly affecting numbers 75 and 75a – as well as an unsuitable design that would affect the character of the street.

A previous application for the site, currently used as an MOT centre and car wash, was refused on similar grounds.

Cllr Fleur Donnelly-Jackson, who represents Willesden Green ward, spoke against the proposals on behalf of concerned residents and her fellow councillor Tom Miller.

“I still think there are areas that need resolving – I don’t think enough has been done to satisfy the objections of those living nearby,” she said.

“Housing is needed. But does this development qualify to meet those needs? We don’t think so.”

Two neighbours also addressed the planning committee and suggested that such a scheme was “suited to inner-city living” and was “out of place” in Willesden.

They added that, while they appreciate the need for housing in Brent, it needs to be “appropriate”.

Peter Hale lodged his complaints on the council’s portal ahead of the meeting. He said: “The proposed development, rather than building units of a height and width proportionate to the surrounding buildings, proposes one massive expanse that is not only taller but far broader and bulkier than any of them.

“It is entirely out of proportion – it reduces Kingsley Court from a landmark to an also-ran and changes the character of the area at a stroke.”

The developers said they had worked to achieve a “balance” at the site, aiming to address residents’ concerns and produce a viable scheme.

They suggested that the project would provide “much-needed housing” in a spot that has suffered from anti-social behaviour and break-ins in the past.

And despite support from another neighbour, who championed the extra housing, the natural surveillance it would bring and the long-term benefits of regeneration in the area, it was comfortably voted down.

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