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HomeNewsKingsbury four-storey flats plan proceeds despite fears of more development

Kingsbury four-storey flats plan proceeds despite fears of more development

Plans to build a four-storey block of flats in a North London neighbourhood have been given the green light despite concerns it will ‘open the floodgates’ for further development in the area. Developers have pledged nearly £30,000 to improve road safety around the site, as a local nursery claimed its impact on traffic will ‘pose a direct threat’ to the safety of their children.

Developers, Salmon Street Property Ltd, applied to demolish a detached house on the corner of Salmon Street and Queens Walk- on the outskirts of Wembley – and replace it with a part-three, part-four-storey apartment block with 13 flats. The plan was approved by split decision at the latest meeting of Brent Council’s Planning Committee (June 11), with two councillors voting against.

Addressing the committee, Junaid Iqbal, who lives next door to the site, called the development a ‘severe downgrade for [the] community’. He said it will ‘burden [residents] with increased traffic, parking issues, noise, and pollution.

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Mr Iqbal also claimed it will ‘significantly impact’ their quality of life and suggested the disruption caused is ‘solely for developers’ financial gain’ and not for the benefit of the local area. He feels that the increased car usage in the area will create a ‘parking nightmare’ along the road.

Another resident who lives opposite the site, Mr Gidoomal, described it as a ‘great disappointment’ that developers want to build ‘this eyesore’ on Salmon Street. He too suggested the scheme was about ‘monetary gain’ for the developers rather than for the benefit of the community.

The application received more than 25 objections in total, which included a backlash from residents and a local nursery, who felt it would exacerbate existing parking issues, disrupt their ‘peaceful coexistence’ by ‘opening the floodgates’ to developers, and pose a danger to children.

St Nicholas Nursery, which is situated close to the site, claimed the development is ‘bound to exacerbate’ the current congestion on the roads, as well as ‘posing a direct threat’ to children’s safety.

They said: “The congested streets stemming from increased traffic and inadequate parking provisions directly impact the safety of children in transit to and from St. Nicholas Nursery. Narrow, crowded roads increase the likelihood of accidents and create an unsafe environment for our young attendees.”

Kingsbury four-storey flats plan proceeds despite fears of more development Harrow Online
St Nicholas School, Salmon Street. The nearby St Nicholas nursery claims the development would put children\’s safety at risk. Image Credit: Google Maps. Permission to use with all LDRS partners

Speaking on behalf of developers, the project architect, Kieran Stevens, told the committee that the plan will deliver a ‘high quality living environment’ that has been ‘carefully designed’ in relation to the adjacent properties. As a condition of approval, Salmon Street Property Ltd has agreed to contribute £29,000 towards the council’s ‘healthy streets’ programme and highways improvements to address safety issues, including the ‘dangerous double mini-roundabout’ further along Salmon Street.

Developers claim the project will ‘provide a wide range of key planning and regeneration benefits’ for the local area. This includes the redevelopment of a brownfield site, the delivery of ‘much needed housing’, funds that can be used towards financing local infrastructure, as well as attracting new residents to the area who will ‘contribute to the local community and boost the local economy through local spending’.

The approval means the scheme will deliver 13 new flats, comprising three studios, two one-bedroom, four two-bedroom, and four three-bedroom apartments. However, none of these will be classed as ‘affordable housing’ as costs meant it would be ‘unviable’ to do so.

A viability assessment, following amendments by council consultants, concluded that, if affordable housing was provided, the development would result in a surplus of £41,000. Council documents state that this was deemed ‘not large enough’ to provide affordable housing. Instead, the council has agreed a ‘payment in lieu contribution’ towards off-site affordable housing within the borough – which matched the surplus (£41,000).

The plan was approved in line with officers initial recommendation, however, two members of the committee voted against it. Cllr Saqib Butt opposed it on the grounds of the building’s ‘bulk and massing’, whislt Cllr Robert Johnson was concerned about the lack of affordable housing and described the developer’s £41,000 contribution towards affordable housing elsewhere as ‘miniscule’.

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