There are fears a new North London housing scheme will mean antisocial behaviour in the area ‘only gets worse’, as residents complain of ‘over-development’.
More than 250 people have already signed a petition fighting the plans, which would see the demolition of a bungalow and other abandoned buildings.
The plan to build 21 new homes on Clement Close in Brondesbury Park is part of Brent Council’s ‘New Council Homes Programme’, which aims to deliver affordable homes and reduce the borough’s 25,000 long waiting list. A decision will be made on whether to approve the scheme at this week’s planning committee meeting (November 15).
However, residents are fiercely opposing the plans – with 68 lodging their complaints against the application and a further 267 signing a petition. They have raised issues with the impact the development could have on the environment, as well as parking, privacy, and antisocial behaviour.
The site currently has nine buildings comprising 88 homes in a mix of two and three-storey blocks of flats, bungalows and maisonettes. The development is looking to deliver 21 council houses in five separate developments, at London Affordable Rent.
One resident said: “By cramming in a further 21 residential units on this already small estate, this would concern me around the loss of my privacy, along with the loss of my light. […] This would only be made worse by the loss of trees and green spaces in the area.”
Only 7 per cent of the scheme would be green space due to one of the blocks being built on some of the existing space. However, council officers said this would be “considerably outweighed” by the benefits of the affordable housing and seven family housing units.
In a letter sent to the Cabinet Member for Housing, Homelessness and Renters Security, Cllr Promise Knight, residents of Clement Close and neighbouring properties said: “Although we understand the need for more affordable housing and agree with Brent’s Council aspiration to make the most of its under-used land and property assets, we argue that Clement Close is not under-used, nor is it suitable for the outlined development.”
The signatories claim the plan would result in a “substantial loss” of privacy and trees, as well as having a negative impact on traffic, parking, and local amenities. One resident who lodged an objection against the application claimed one of the blocks would “directly overlook” their property, while another worried the increased population would result in more noise and higher security risks.
They said: “There is already an element of anti-social behaviour on the estate, with regular drug dealers hanging out on the estate, and this will only get worse. I’m [also] concerned that the new build will not match the old, it will create a “them and us” atmosphere between existing and new occupants.”
Council officers claim the development has been designed with security in mind and is “not considered likely to result in more crime”, whilst the degree of harm to privacy is not thought to be significant. They have recommended the plan for approval, which councillors will debate on Wednesday before making a decision.