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Sunday, 10 December 2017

Affordable Housing in Wembley Reduced to Almost Nothing

My eye was caught by an extremely high tower block proposal coming up at the next Planning Committee.  The "East of Wembley Stadium" application provides for only 7% affordable housing on the pretext that the housing will be kept at a genuinely affordable rent level.  It is recommended to be granted

I have argued before that there are genuine trade offs around affordability, unit size and so on, but this becoming ridiculous.

Firstly the proportion is so tiny that almost nothing is being demanded of the developers at all.  7% does not even begin to meet the needs of Wembley, as the GLA has pointed out.  Secondly I don't see any reason to believe that the developer can be kept to the promised reduced rate.  It would not surprise me in the least if the properties are sold off as straight forward commercial units in future.  Thirdly, the blocking of views to the Stadium has a woeful impact on the Stadium's place as the centrepiece of Wembley's regeneration.

I doubt however, that the Committee will do more than rubberstamp what is put in front of them.  If it does it will be another sign that the Planning system in Brent has been thoroughly broken and (for whatever reason) councillors and officers are simply waiving through applications with simply no effort to scrutinise them properly. 

The report, and the subsequent report for more car parking, both seem to indicate that the GLA is becoming concerned at the ways in which the London Plan is being ignored, so that it is possible that Sadiq Khan will intervene, but why aren't Brent Councillors and officers doing a better job to stick up for the interests of Brent and Tokyngton?

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