Sunday, 15 May 2016

26 Storey Flats Approved by London's Deputy Mayor Days Before Elections

Planning application 15/4550 for Chesterfield House was approved by Sir Edward Lister, Deputy Mayor and Chief of Staff of the former London Mayor, Boris Johnson, on 3rd May 2016.

Wembley Champions have written to the new London Mayor, Sadiq Khan, voted in on 5th May to seek his assistance.


Sunday, 1 May 2016

Wembley & Brent Residents Request London Mayoral Call-in of Planning App 15/4550

Wembley and Brent residents request that the GLA's planning officers and the Mayor's Office call-in planning application 15/4550.

This was granted permission at Stage 1 
- despite only 4 Planning Committee Members voting in favour.
2 voted against (including the Chair) and 2 abstained from voting.

The Mayor's office has the option to call-in the application at Stage 2, as the 239 flats would be over the category 1a and 1c pre-requisites.

Referable Criteria Mayor of London Order:
Large Scale Development - Category 1a "Development which comprises or includes the provision of more than 150 units (houses, flats, or houses and flats)."
Category 1C: "Development which comprises or includes the erection of a building more than thirty metres high and outside the City of London".

We agree that Chesterfield House would benefit from development that would add interest and vibrancy to our High Street, but 26 Storeys is far far far too much for our High Street. It is OverSaturation and will, in our opinion, cause unbearable strain on us existing Wembley people and the new people it seeks to house.

This poem tries to convey our message:

Local Paper Covers Our Dismay @ 26 Storey Planning Committee Decision, Thursday 21st April 2016

The Brent and Kilburn Times covers residents complete and utter dismay at planning application 15/4550 being granted permission at Stage 1
Only half the committee voted in favour. (2 voted against including the Chair, 2 abstained)

Wembley and Brent residents were not strong enough to fight the might of the applicant.
Residents were only given 2mins to speak on the clock, whilst the applicant had 5mins to speak and was asked multiple Qs by the committee.

Wembley Central Ward Cllr Sam Stopp spoke for 5mins of his concerns over the apparent lack of consultation [e.g. only half of nearby cul-de-sac Princes Court, a dozen of South Meadows, zero of Park Lawns Residents were consulted] and transparency with 15/4550, suggesting Brent Council could learn from Islington Council's planning department.
He then proceeded to congratulate the applicant, Hub Group, on what he viewed as their great attempts to engage with the community and community groups. Cllr Stopp also commended the design of the 26 Storey flats.

It is worth noting here that many of the comments of support for this planning application from Community Groups, were from Community organisers who do not live adjacent to or in the vicinity of Chesterfield House and some of whom do not even live in Wembley. 

Whilst such Community Groups would benefit from the Community Space on the Ground Floor of the 26 Storey flats, they would not have to endure the effects of the years of building works for such a large scale development or congestion, traffic, pollution and all round reduced Quality of Life, at what is a dangerous junction for pedestrians.

It also remains to be seen who will be able to afford the meagre 28% affordable housing this scheme will provide. 

Q. Will Wembley and Brent residents be able to afford to buy or rent these flats?  
Q. Will Wembley and Brent residents be priced out of their hometown?

Q. How will 239 units of residents travel to and from their homes?
Note: There are only 19 parking spaces included in this planning application - half of which will be allocated for disabled drivers

Q. Where will these residents and their families and visitors park when they do their weekly grocery shop or when delivery lorries drop off their groceries, furniture and household goods? 
A. In one of the handful of parking bay spaces? On neighbouring streets?  Double parked on Park Lane or High Road Wembley obstructing traffic?

Wembley Champions will leave you to decide on the likely outcome of #26Storey.

Thursday, 7 April 2016

Planning Committee Decision for 26 Storey Flats Application 15/4550

Questions were posed to the applicant, the developer Hub Group, including:
how the application only provides 28% affordable housing, 
fell short on CO2 levels, 
was far greater (almost double) density levels,  
was (as pointed out by the Chair) very tall for a town High Street being 85m and more comparable to building heights found at sites such as Oxford Street in Central London....

Voting on the application was as follows:

For  4                        
Cllr Amer Agha (Welsh Harp Ward)
Cllr Shafique Choudhary (Barnhill Ward)
Cllr Lia Colacicco (Mapesbury Ward) 
Cllr Arshad Mahmood (Dollis Hill Ward & Deputy Mayor)            

Against  2                  
Cllr Sarah Marquis (Chair) (Barnhill Ward)
Cllr Michael Maurice (Kenton Ward)      

Abstention  2          
Cllr Ernest Ezeajughi (Stonebridge Ward)
Cllr Milli Patel (Alperton Ward & Lead Member for Children & Families)                                                   

Planning Permission was Granted

There were additional conditions imposed on the application such as a need for the developer Hub Group to pay a sum of money for any extension of the CPZ parking zones so that existing residents would not have to pay to park in front of their own homes (at the request of the Chair, Cllr Sarah Marquis).

Balustrades on the roof top floors were also requested after Cllr Lia Colacicco mentioned the possible health and safety risk of a coin being thrown from the roof.

Resident Speech @ Planning Committee 6th April 2016, 26 Storey App No: 15/4550

The Council permitted 1 resident speaker to speak for 2 minutes.
(We asked if we could have an additional resident speaker, but we were advised that we could not).

The resident speaker, Denise Cheong, was asked by the Chair to introduce herself before the speech:
I am the former Chair of Friends of King Eddie's Park, former Interim Steering Panel Member at Big Local Wembley Central (renamed Wembley Futures) and former member of Wembley Crime Prevention.

I am representing members of Princes Court and Keswick Gardens Resident Association, South Meadows Resident Association, Park Lawn Residents Association (and other properties further along Park Lane), residents from King Edward Court on Elm Road, surrounding roads such as Dennis Avenue and Kingsway, as well as resident friends in Kingsbury, Queensbury, Neasden and other parts of Brent.

This is her 2 minute speech:
1) Objections have been received from all 3 of the wards Tokyngton, Preston and Wembley Central.

2) The height and density of the development are our main concerns. This will dwarf existing surroundings. It is overdevelopment of a delicate site. Green space adjoining the site owned by Network Rail is sought too.

3) There are infrastructure issues at what is a dangerous junction. The case officer report acknowledges that buses operate at full capacity. Only route 83 is being split. We query if 1 new bus route for 239 flats & families will suffice. 

4) Traffic problems exist, particularly for residents of Princes Court, Elm Road and South Meadows. When we met this time, erm March last year, hundreds of residents formally objected to 14/4208 mentioning congestion & traffic on Park Lane and [parking] issues with Park Lane School.

5) Planning Policy - this does not comply with the:
Wembley Link SPD,
Wembley Area Action Plan,
Brent Council's Core Strategy 4.13 pertaining to Regeneration and Growth specifically notes availability of large development sites close to the Stadium,
the London Plan policies 7.6 b, c, d, f supporting text 7.21, 7.22, 7.23 and 7.7 A, C a, b, c, d, Db supporting text 7.25, 7.27


Email sent to Planning Committee Prior to 26 Storey Towers Site Visit

URGENT: Tomorrow's Site Visit - Planning Application 15/4550 - Chesterfield House, 9 Park Lane, Wembley, HA9 7RH‏

Dear Planning Committee members, Wembley Central Ward Cllrs, Preston Ward Cllrs, Hub Group and Council Planning Case Officer

I understand the planning committee are due to visit the above site tomorrow (Saturday 2nd April) morning regarding planning application 15/4550.

I write to kindly urge the Planning Committee to give the following viewpoint due weight during their deliberations whilst they conduct tomorrow's site visit.

Please note during your site visit that (at the time of writing) several local residents from Princes Court and Keswick Gardens Residents Association, as well as members of neighbouring Park Lane Methodist Church are opposed to the height and scale of the proposed scheme.

Whilst residents appreciate the City's need for greater housing provision and welcome Hub Group's proposed donation to the Council for King Eddie's Park, we have grave concerns over the impact of a development that will be (although set back, at its heighest) twice the height of the opposite existing Elm Court flats and nearly three times the height of the existing Chesterfield House office block.

Mr Neidhardt notes in his report that pedestrian accidents have occurred at the junction of Park Lane and the High Road. This is a notoriously difficult junction for local residents to walk across. Please observe the existing pedestrian crossings at the junction during your site visit and consider the impact the proposed will have on the area even with any alterations from Transport For London (TFL) to the junction. Also, kindly observe the existing bus stops in the vicinity on the High Road which TFL note already operate at full capacity. You may also possibly observe heavy traffic queues on Park Lane tomorrow (as discussed at last year's planning committees for planning application 14/4208, heavy traffic from the junction of High Rd and Park Lane down past The Methodist Church and King Edward VII Park is a norm on Park Lane, and further evidence of the real need for this junction to be re-worked).

I await further communication from other resident members of the aforementioned plus neighbouring roads. I will update you all as soon as I have collated such responses and prior to Wednesday 6th April's Planning Committee.

Many thanks.

Wednesday, 6 April 2016

Residents Against 26 Storey Twin Tower Block Proposal 15/4550

Your neighbours need you to attend @ 7pm this evening Brent Civic Centre

This is your last chance to have your say!

Wembley Resident Members of the following:
Princes Court & Keswick Gardens Residents Association
King Edward Court, Elm Road
The Methodist Church Park Lane
Park Lane Residents Association
South Meadows Ltd Resident Group

Houses on Park Lane Opposite King Edward VII Park and further along Park Lane

As well as our neighbours, friends and family on other Wembley & Brent roads

Plus local business (will try to send representatives along)

Will attend planning committee @ Brent Civic Centre, Olympic Way, Wembley HA9 0FJ
to object to the developer Hub Group's proposed 26 Storey Tower Blocks on the Chesterfield House Site @ the junction of High Road and Park Lane Wembley.

The existing building is office space with parking. The proposal will be this:

with only 17 parking spaces (9 of these disabled)

We are not against development and regeneration in Wembley, but this is far far far too high! At a junction where pedestrians suffer from traffic accidents

Thursday, 31 March 2016

Walks, Skips & Jumps around Wembley for Cancer Research

This March Wembley resident, Denise, has been walking, stepping, jumping, skipping and hopping all over Wembley for Cancer Research.

She's taking part in the #WalkAllOverCancer #10000StepsaDayinMarch #CancerResearchUK Challenge.

For the last 31 days she has been walking and training around some of the parks in Wembley, over by the Stadium, SSE Arena and Brent Civic Centre as well as along local streets.

Here are some photos from her journey:

Walk along White Horse Bridge to Wembley Triangle

Wembley Stadium Arch from London Designer Outlet

Here's a 30sec video of some views from Wembley Stadium:

Wembley Arena, Quintain's North West Village, Brent Civic Centre, 5-a-side footy from Stadium

View of Civic, Wembley Retail Park, Olympic Walk, 5-a-side Football, Victoria Halls Student Accommodation, Barratts new flats from Stadium

Daffodils in bloom in Barnhill - 1st day of Spring :)

Have you ever seen such a floral recycling bin?


Wembley Stadium Arch from Barnhill

View from Barnhill/Fryent Country Park (field to right of car parking bay)
King Edward VII Park from path in front of Collin's Lodge
King Edward VII Park from St John's Rd & The Dene entrance

If you would like to make a donation to Cancer Research to support Denise & life saving research that could give people across the globe more tomorrows click here