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Sunday, 17 September 2017

2 Scrubs Lane Overdevelopment

There is an appalling proposal to build a twenty storey development on the site of the church at 2 Scrubs Lane.  Anyone who knows that area will know it is wholly unsuitable.  However, as the application falls under the Park Royal Development Area, the decision may well be made by people who don't know the area.

I have written to object in the following terms:

I am writing to oppose the above application which simply appals me as an example of grotesque overdevelopment.  The proposed height of twenty stories dwarfs any other building in the area.  The very highest building in the existing neighbourhood is Cumberland House, to the South, which is eight or nine stories and part of the industrial estate.  The rest of this area is characterised by low rise residential housing, often of only two stories.  The sheer size of this proposal should mark it out as unacceptable.  I can only assume that the site's peculiar position in both Hammersmith and Fulham and Brent has allowed an obviously unsuitable proposal to slip through the net during the Summer.  It should simply have been rejected out of hand.

The proposal envisages installing a major source of traffic generation at a site where there have been significant traffic problems in the past.  These were improved thanks to TfL investment some years ago, but are likely to worsen if such a huge development goes ahead.  This is likely to damage road safety at this junction, but also significantly worsen air quality in an area where air quality is already a concern.  The creation of traffic problems at the site will also lead to knock on effects in Harlesden Town Centre, which has only recently been remodelled at considerable expense.  The usages of any successful application should be geared to minimise the addition of traffic given the site's crucial significanace to the transport network towards Baker Street and also towards White City.

The proportion of affordable housing is said to be only about 24%, which seems very low, and well below Brent's normal aspirations.

I also find it hard to imagine how such an overbearing building can be squeezed on to what is quite a small footprint, especially if it is to contribute any sort of "circulation space" or public realm element.

I further note that this post Grenfell application appears to have only one staircase for escape in case of fire.  It will also of course be determined without the benefits of the Grenfell inquiry, as that has yet to report. 

I also note the point made in Andy Slaughter MP's objection that the planning guidelines for this area are yet to be fully formed, which adds to the impression that the proposal is being rushed through in the hope of securing approval for developments that would not get through on their planning merits.

I urge other people to also object.  The email address to write to is, and details of the plans can be found here.  At the time of writing, no one from Brent appears to have made any comment despite the negative effect it would have on our area.

1 comment:

Michael said...

James, like yourself I objected to this proposal on lines similar to those in your post. I have received notification that a OPDC planing meeting will be held on October 11 to discuss. I note that the recommendation is to approve. Do you plan to attend/speak? I would like these views to be represented at the meeting. Regards, Michael, Furness Road.

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