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Brent Council approves plans at Abbey Manufacturing Estate

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Brent Council approves plans at Abbey Manufacturing Estate

Plans for almost 700 homes at an industrial estate have been given the go-ahead – despite fears over the impact of the scheme on the surrounding area.

Brent Council’s planning committee approved the proposals at Abbey Manufacturing Estate in Alperton at a meeting yesterday evening (Wednesday, February 10).

Developers intend to provide 684 new homes across six blocks – the highest of which is 16 storeys high – and a small row of terraced houses, as well as some commercial space.

However, several people living close to the site criticised the plans, suggesting they will have a detrimental impact on their lives.

Balvant Mistry, of Woodside Close, described the new tower blocks as an “eyesore” and said it would represent the latest of a number of “really bad” developments in Alperton.

He also questioned how the council intended to manage an influx of hundreds of people to the area and the effect this would have on local infrastructure.

This view was shared by Anita Patel, who pointed out services are “already overstretched” and approving such a development would “heavily impact on existing residents”.

She suggested the proposed development was too dense, would put additional strain on the area’s transport network and could lead to more issues surrounding litter and fly-tipping.

A previous scheme at the site was rejected by the council’s planning committee in May 2020 due to the limited amount of affordable housing and insufficient community facilities proposed.

Council officers noted that, to address this, developers had agreed to provide a new space for community use, with access to a rooftop garden, as well as a significant increase in affordable units from 75 to 218.

However, to achieve this, the proposed overall number of homes increased by 103, with the tallest block now two storeys higher than the previously proposed 14.

Cllr Anton Georgiou, who represents Alperton ward, said these changes fail to acknowledge his constituents’ concerns, particularly those around the impact on the skyline and infrastructure.

He said many people are “frustrated” by the “intensity” of building in the area and suggested the developments “won’t work” unless there are major changes to the road and transport networks.

And he repeated his concerns around the concept of “affordable housing”, suggesting it is a “spurious” term to many, who would have little chance of meeting the proposed levels.

For this development, 30 per cent of the affordable units will be offered for shared ownership, 30 per cent will be available at London Affordable Rent, and 40 per cent will be put forward under affordable rent, which council officers said would be capped at 65 per cent of the market value.

Despite the concerns, the committee voted in favour of the recommendation to approve the scheme, with only Conservative councillor Michael Maurice opposing the plans due to the low number of family homes offered.

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