Plans approved for 807-home Old Oak scheme

Plans have been approved for an 807-unit residential scheme with 35 per cent affordable homes on a site in north-west London after planners concluded that the development was in line with the mayor of London's new affordable housing and viability guidance.

A visualisation of the finished First Central development
A visualisation of the finished First Central development

The application, submitted to the Old Oak and Park Royal Development Corporation, proposes the clearance of the site and the construction of three buildings that would range between five and 27-storeys in height.

The First Central scheme would provide 807 residential units, a children’s nursery, and 977 square metres of retail/employment uses.

The application site sits within the London Borough of Brent.

According to a planning report, 35 per cent of the homes would be affordable. Of these, 30 per cent would be London Affordable Rent, 30 per cent London Living Rent and 40 per cent Shared Ownership.

The report said that the mayor’s Affordable Housing and Viability Supplementary Planning Guidance (SPG) says that schemes proposing at least 35 per cent affordable housing that accord with the local planning authority’s preferred tenure split (and are consistent with the preferred tenure split described in the SPG) do not need to submit viability information at the application stage.

Such applications are subject to review mechanisms only if an agreed level of progress on implementation has not been achieved within two years of planning permission being granted.

The report added that to eligible for this "fast-track" route, applicants also need to demonstrate that they have sought to increase the level of affordable housing beyond 35 per cent by accessing grant funding.

The report said that the applicant was having ongoing discussions with the Greater London Authority in relation to the potential to incorporate grant funding into the scheme to increase the level of affordable housing.

"If it would be viable to use grant to increase the affordable housing level then this increased level would be set out in the section 106 as subject to grant", the report said.

Recommending approval, planners said that the development would have a "high-quality design that responds to the character of the surrounding area, particularly in terms of the materials and architectural approach to the facades".

The report said that the 27-storey tower would "assist townscape legibility by marking the Brewery cluster as an area of increased public activity at a major gateway into the Park Royal area".

It also said that the development would not cause harm to the setting of heritage assets.


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