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Brent Council approves seven-storey development despite affordable housing concerns

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Plans for 132 new flats on the site of an electronics shop were approved by Brent Council, despite concerns around the level of affordable housing and the impact on the surrounding area.

Its planning committee narrowly approved the Ealing Road scheme, which will be up to seven storeys high, last night (Wednesday, January 13).

This was despite objections from those living nearby, as well as Alperton ward councillor Anton Georgiou and three members of the committee.

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Neighbours opposed to the plans argued the new development will have a detrimental impact on an already strained parking situation and criticised the height and scale of the building, which they believe will reduce the amount of daylight at their homes.

Alina Lopatis, of Cromwell Road, said this was another example of a high-rise building changing the face of her neighbourhood for the worse.

“[It’s] virtually on our doorstep so we are quite rightly very concerned and worried about our futures in this area,” she said.

“We never imagined our area would change so dramatically and in such a negative way.

“We are now faced with a choice of living with all of this and just putting up with it or moving away from the area we know and where some of us have grown up.”

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Cllr Georgiou pointed out this is a view held by many people living near these new buildings, and he urged the council to support residents by blocking such proposals.

“This development continues the worrying trend in my ward, which has seen non-stop building of massive tower blocks whilst established residents continue to struggle with a lack of services and access to open, green space,” he said.

“More luxury, unaffordable units are not what my residents need – let’s face it, these are not for local people, they’ll be marketed across London and overseas.”

He added he was “alarmed” to see the plans even under discussion given the low level of affordable housing on offer – just 19 units (14 per cent).

Brent Council planning officers explained the amount of affordable housing was the most the developer could offer while ensuring the scheme remained viable.

And planning agent Max Plotnek suggested the proposals were an “appropriate balance” that would make use of an “underutilised brownfield site”.

He added: “Any development will have some impact on neighbouring residents.

“Where these minor impacts do arise, we feel they have been fully justified and weighed against the significant benefits the scheme will deliver.”

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