Fairview shenanigans over affordable housing

The lack of Affordable Housing was one of the four reasons Brent council gave for refusing permission for demolition of The Queensbury. The developer has appealed and we are set for a marathon 5 day inquiry in January (originally 3 days but the developer has lobbied for more).

Over the summer the council and the developer have apparently been horse trading over the amount of affordable housing and the council’s planning committee have been asked to take a decision on an increased ‘offer’ of an extra two units. They want this to be accepted so it is not mentioned at the inquiry in January. Is that acceptable?

We think people who responded to the planning application should have been informed about this decision, which will be taken on 17th September, but they haven’t. It feels as though the developer is trying to stop this being discussed in detail at the appeal and Brent officers seem to be agreeing with them.

Two more units will mean 22.6% is now “affordable” rather than 18.9%. Brent’s policy is for 50%. The revised offer is subjective because it certainly fails to meet Brent’s policy expectations. We believe that we should be allowed a voice in that debate.

We are mystified as to why officers are recommending this amendment be accepted and why they have not provided any opportunity in the council papers for people to respond.

We encourage you to write to the officer named in the report ben.martin@brent.gov.uk with your views. The full meeting agenda can be found here

One thought on “Fairview shenanigans over affordable housing

  1. I have two comments:
    1 The offer of just two more affordable units is not acceptable. The meeting on 17 September must be attended.
    In the agenda for the 17 Sept 2014 it is stated that if the Council accept the revised proposal of just 12 affordable units now, then the planning review in January can be reduced from a Five-day hearing to a Three-day hearing and therefore save the Council the cost of two more days. (The Council is required to bear the cost of the hearing in January.See page 34 point 4.1 of the agenda.) Shame on Ben Martin and the Councillors for being lazy in accepting this revised offer and trying to save a relatively small sum rather truly represent the people who voted them in.

    2 It is sad that the only item on the agenda to be discussed is the number of affordable units. Does this mean that the demolition of the Queensbury/Conservative Club building is now not being contested? The retained facade of the Spotted Dog Public House in the High Road is a successful example of how old and new architecture can be made to fit and enhance the surroundings. Even the old Library building has been saved in the disastrous Willesden Library development. I believe that Save the Queensbury must still fight for a creative solution. Fairview Homes can do better.

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