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.