Brent gives go-ahead to 509-home scheme on industrial site

The London Borough of Brent has given the go-ahead to plans for a 509-home mixed-use scheme on a designated industrial site, despite the loss of commercial floorspace.

Brent Civic Centre. Pic: jelm6
Brent Civic Centre. Pic: jelm6

Brent Council has approved the application from NEAT Developments and Royal London Asset Management proposing to demolish a single-storey warehouse and build a total of 501 flats in six apartment blocks ranging in height from four to twelve storeys.

The applicants are also proposing a terrace of eight three-storey mews houses running along the northern edge of the plot.

The existing warehouse has been vacant for more than five years, according to a planning statement submitted by their agent Rolfe Judd.

The 4,051 square metres of commercial space proposed in unit is just under half the size of the warehouse that currently occupies the site.

A report for last week's committee by planning officers acknowledges that the scheme would result in the loss of employment floorspace on what the council currently designates as a "locally significant industrial site" (LSIS).

However, it says this loss of floorspace is acceptable given the inclusion of the site in an area earmarked for intensification and greater mix of uses in Brent’s emerging local plan.

"Whilst the replacement floorspace would fall below the industrial capacity of this LSIS-designated site, the site is part of a proposed site allocation which allows for its redevelopment for a mix of uses."

The scheme would also contribute to Brent’s London Plan-imposed housing target, which is set to increase from 1,525 to 2,325 homes per year.

According to the report, which recommended approval for the scheme, the site received consent for a "similar" but less intense development in 2018.

The revised scheme provides 87 additional flats by increasing the height of the residential blocks and halving the number of car parking space.

The new application also increases the proportion of affordable housing in the scheme from the previously consented level of 30 per cent to 35 per cent by habitable rooms.

The split of 54 London Affordable Rent (LAR) and 86 shared ownership units does not comply with Brent's tenure policy, officers said, but a review of the applicants’ viability appraisal by independent consultants has demonstrated that their offer is "beyond the maximum amount of affordable housing that the site can support".

The report adds that the 501 flats would be high quality and meet or exceed internal space standards with most enjoying views over the ‘attractively landscaped’ communal courtyards.

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