18/4199 Alperton House, Bridgewater Road, Wembley, HA0 1EH
PROPOSAL: Demolition of the existing buildings and construction of 4 buildings ranging in height from 14 to 23 storeys, comprising 474 residential units at 1st to 23rd floors (140 x 1-bed, 263 x 2-bed and 71 x 3-bed), mixed commercial use at ground and part 1st floor including a new public house (Use Class A4) retail floorspace (Use Classes A1, A2, and/or A3), workspace (B1b/c), and an office (B1a), together with associated public realm improvements; soft/hard landscaping; creation of a canal side walkway, new access arrangements, car and cycle parking; servicing, refuse and recycling facilities
RECOMMENDATION: to GRANT planning permission subject to:
A. Referral to the Mayor of London (stage 2 referral)
B. The prior completion of a legal agreement to secure the planning obligations set out within the Committee reports.
That the Head of Planning be granted delegated authority to negotiate the legal agreement indicated above.
That the Head of Planning be granted delegated authority to issue the planning permission and impose conditions and informatives to secure the matters set out within the Committee reports.
That the Head of Planning be granted delegated authority to make changes to the wording of the Committee’s decision (such as to delete, vary or add conditions, informatives, planning obligations or reasons for the decision) prior to the decision being actioned, provided that the Head of Planning is satisfied that any such changes could not reasonably be regarded as deviating from the overall principle of the decision reached by the Committee nor that such change(s) could reasonably have led to a different decision having been reached by the Committee.
That, if by the "expiry date" of the planning application the legal agreement has not been completed, the Head of Planning be granted delegated authority to refuse planning permission.
That the Committee confirms that adequate provision has been made, by the imposition of conditions, for the preservation or planting of trees as required by Section 197 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990.
Ms Victoria McDonagh (Area Team Manager) introduced the application which proposed the demolition of all buildings on site and construction of a mixed use development included retail, public house and workspace uses and 474 residential units arranged within four buildings. In addition to the provision of improved residential amenity, the development would incorporate landscaped public realm adjoining the canal side and external seating for the public house. She continued that the principle of development with mixed uses was considered acceptable as it responded to the Site Allocation.
Members heard that the proposal would deliver 147 affordable housing units out of a total of 474 units, representing 35% affordable housing by habitable room (89 units at London Affordable Rent levels and 58 units for shared ownership). Officers considered this to be the maximum reasonable amount of affordable housing that can be provided, subject to any additional surplus being captured through early stage and late stage review mechanisms. Ms McDonagh added that the design, scale and appearance of the four buildings would contribute to the Alperton Growth Area.
Ms McDonagh referenced the supplementary report and informed the Committee that the matters raised in the additional objection received from One Tree Hill Residents' Group (part of Wembley and Alperton Ward Residents' Association, WCARA) had already been reported and discussed within the main committee report. In response to Members’ request for further information on trees, biodiversity, landscaping and relationship with the canal, Ms McDonagh reported that existing biodiversity potential had been assessed in a Preliminary Ecological Appraisal, summarised in the main report (paragraph 72). She continued that the proposal would significantly increase the amount of soft landscaping across the site, and a detailed landscaping scheme including bird and bat boxes and wildlife sensitive lighting, would be required by condition. Overall officers considered that the ecological status of the site would be enhanced through the proposal. In addition, extensive new tree and shrub planting was proposed as part of the landscaping scheme. Ms McDonagh also highlighted that the TfL ATTrBuTE system, referred to within the main committee report, is no longer used for travel plans, and that updated guidance is now used.
Mr Lars Wulf (objector) stated that the height of the application of 23 storeys was not consistent with the Alperton Master Plan which set a maximum height of 7 storeys. He therefore objected on grounds of excessive height and loss of light. Mr Wulf added that the proposal would give rise to increased traffic, congestion and excessive parking demand without adequate infrastructure, to the detriment of existing and future the residents as well as wildlife and green spaces close to the canal side area.
Mr Chirag Gir (Chair, Wembley and Alperton Ward Residents' Association, WCARA) raised the following concerns in objection to the proposal;
a) Traffic congestion and pollution.
b) Displacement parking as a result of the introduction of CPZ in the area.
c) No specific mention of a s278 legal agreement.
Mr Fahmi Young and Mr George Hadad also spoke in objection. Mr Young, an owner of a Communications firm in the Abecorn Commercial Centre, stated that the proposed height of the buildings would prevent his satellite equipment from functioning as normal to the detriment of his business. Mr Hadad added that the proposed entrance via Manor Farm Road would lead to increased traffic, unauthorised parking in the area and construction noise.
Mr Jeffrey Ruffels (applicant) and Ms Eve Timberland (agent) addressed the Committee. Mr Ruffels stated that the proposal for mixed use development would deliver 474 homes with 147 affordable units and affordable work spaces. He highlighted the design aspects which would deliver as much lighting without impacting on local ecology and the provision of sustainable open spaces. He clarified that the main access would be via Bridgewater Road and that the traffic access via Manor Farm Road would be minimum as it was meant for the only 3 disabled parking spaces.
Members questioned the applicant on measures they would employ to address the parking situation including displacement parking, measures to address the concerns raised by Mr Young, the impact of the proposal on local public transport and infrastructure to support the proposal.
Ms Eve Timberland responded that under the Heads of Terms of the section 106 legal agreement, the applicant would make a significant contribution towards the introduction of CPZ. She added that a survey would be undertaken on the impact on the communication business and if proven by survey, a package of mitigation measures would be put in place. In relation to public transport impact, Ms Timberland clarified that the applicant had been engaging with TfL and the conclusion was that the impact would not be significant as to warrant mitigation measures. She referenced the community infrastructure levy (CIL) payment as set out within the report which was purposely to address potential infrastructure deficiency which may arise from the development.
Members then invited the Area Planning Manager to address the pertinent issues raised including traffic, overshadowing, loss of light and privacy, introduction of CPZ, ecological impact, affordable housing, potential anti-social behaviour in One Tree Hill Park.
Ms McDonagh stated that traffic generation and congestion would be low and the level of car parking would be consistent with TfL Healthy Street Policy. In addition to the cycle infrastructure secured for the area, there would be highways improvements to secure pedestrian comfort. She continued that subject to consultation, the introduction of CPZ would control potential parking overspill in the area. She went on to advise that concerns regarding the nearby zebra crossing on Ealing Road, forms part of the Council’s wider project that was being led by the Transportation Unit, with the Highways Unit.
Ms McDonagh informed Members that the CCG has reviewed the demand for General Practitioner (GP) services within the Alperton Growth Area which includes a forecast of projecting population, and that a new medical centre has been secured within the Northfields site. She added that currently there were sufficient primary school places in the area and that any significant increase in demand would be addressed through the CIL payment secured for the scheme. In respect of secondary school provision, Ms McDonagh stated that Alperton Community School had been expanded to a 9 form entry school to ensure sufficient places to meet demand.
In addressing issues about overshadowing and loss of privacy, Ms McDonagh clarified that daylight and sunlight assessment for the application concluded that due to the separation distances and the windows being a dual aspect, the resulting impact would not be significant. She referenced the amenity provisions of the proposal at the podium between blocks C and D, roof top and spacious balcony. Members also heard that the 35% affordable housing secured represented the maximum possible for the viability of the scheme and that any additional surplus would be captured at early stage and late stage review mechanisms.
In respect of consultation, Ms McDonagh informed the Committee that 848 neighbours were consulted in addition to press and site notices and that only 10 objections were received. She added that Canals and Rivers Trust had no objections subject to the conditions they had requested as set out within the committee report. She continued that officers would continue to work with the Parks Department on appropriate measures for improving and addressing any potential anti-social behaviour in One Tree Hill Park. Members noted that the construction logistics plan, construction management plan and Environmental Health legislation would address potential noise in the construction stages of the development.
Members noted the officer’s responses to the issues raised both at the meeting and within the report and decided as follows:
DECISION: Granted planning permission as recommended.
(Voting on the recommendation was as follows: For 6, Against 2).