I recall at that Planning meeting, one of the Committee suggested to the applicant that he could build the care home without the proposed basement car park. He din't welcome the idea. This is not surprising as the main purpose of the development is to provide more car parking for the Temple. The effect of this would simply be to increase the number of cars coming into the Willesden area, and hence traffic congestion. For this reason the proposal runs completely counter to Brent's sustainable transport policies. For e3xample, the next Cabinet meeting, in reviewing the Borough's parking policies is being told that:
"Car usage makes a significant contribution to the borough’s carbon emissions and air pollution. The council is seeking, through its Transport and Parking Strategies, to Encourage a greater uptake of more sustainable modes of transport for those journeys. For example, a 5% reduction in visitors travelling by car would equate to over 20,000 fewer return car journeys, and would therefore make a significant contribution to reducing both air pollution and carbon emissions in Brent. Concerns about air quality were expressed by residents in the consultation and many understand the direct relationship with the need for behaviour change regarding car usage."
In light of that it strikes me as very strange that officers are apparently recommending approval.
As with the previous occasion, this proposal has attracted numerous objections. I recall previously, local residents were so exercised that one even threatened judicial review if the proposal went through.
In discussing the transport implications, officers suggest that numbers will be limited by a planning condition. I doubt very much whether such a condition could be successfully enforced. More remarkable still is the officers' statement (under 1.1.9) that the new car park will reduce congestion. It is widely accepted that providing more car parking spaces simply encourages car use, and therefore increases traffic congestion.