1-12 INC, Queens Parade, Willesden Lane, Willesden, London, NW2 5HT (Ref.17/0322)
Granted planning permission as recommended.
PROPOSAL: Demolition of existing retail units and erection of part-five, part-seven, part-eight storey building, comprising 106 student residential accommodation units (Use class Sui Generis) on the upper floors, ground floor retail floorspace of providing 5 commercial units (Use class A1) and entrance lobby for the student accommodation; At basement level ancillary student accommodation along with cycle parking, bin stores, laundry and plant room ancillary to the student accommodation, with associated enhancements to the public realm at street level.(amended plans)
RECOMMENDATION: That the Committee resolve to GRANT planning permission subject to 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 and to issue the planning permission and impose conditions (and informatives) to secure the matters set out within the 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 the legal agreement has not been completed by the statutory determination date for this application (including determination dates set through agreement), the Head of Planning be granted delegated authority to refuse planning permission.
Mr Damian Manhertz (Development Management Team Leader, South) introduced the application which was deferred from the meeting in April due to Members’ concerns. Since then, amended plans had been received which sought to address those concerns. He detailed the amendments which included a reduction in the number of student units to 106 (from 120); an increase in the student ancillary areas to 297 sq.m (from 65 sq.m); relocation of the entrance to a more central location towards Walm Lane away from Willesden Lane; reduced massing of rear block (facing onto Walm Lane) with the loss of 14 units; removal of 1 storey from the frontage of Walm Lane and 2 storeys to rear facing Electric House to the south. He outlined measures to mitigate against overlooking and to improve the residential amenity areas of occupants of Electric House. Mr Manhertz continued that the basement accommodation would be predominantly utilised as amenity space with a seating area proposed to the front of the entrance area.
Rachel Leharne (objector) raised concerns about the amended scheme on the following grounds; the scheme constituted an over-development of the site; amenity, daylight and sunlight to Electric House would be sacrificed; BRE levels would be reduced; impact on outlook had not been properly considered and delivery/servicing assessment and its impact had not been carried out properly. She therefore requested the Committee to require a robust review of the revised proposed development.
Mr James Ward, objected to the scheme on the grounds that the proposed student units conflicted with the Core Strategy and the London Plan by its failure to provide affordable housing. He added that the volume of students together with the proposed unloading time would result in an unacceptable level of noise to the detriment of local amenity and also cause disruption to vital road access. Mr Ward continued that the excessive height of the proposed development would be out of character with the properties within the Conservation Area, which could set a precedent for similar undesirable developments in the area.
Councillor Fleur Donnelly-Jackson stated that she had been approached by the local residents. Councillor Donnelly-Jackson echoed the residents’ objections, adding that the height would not be in keeping with the character of the Conservation Area. She added that the site, being at a busy corner of Willesden Lane and Walm Lane, would be inappropriate for the proposal. She expressed that the delivery assessment was flawed. Members heard that the level of noise that would be generated could result in anti-social behaviour and loss of residential amenity. Councillor Donnelly-Jackson concluded that the development would cause overshadowing, detrimental impact on privacy and amenity of the occupiers of Electric House and the nearby residential home.
Mr Simon Owen (agent) informed the Committee that the scheme was amended as a result of the feedback from the consultations and exhibition following the last deferral. He then outlined the amendments and added that student accommodation was proposed due to the constraints of the site. In response to a Member’s enquiry, Mr Owen stated that retail units would be provided to the ground floor and that the proposal would address the significant under-supply of student accommodation in the area.
In the ensuing discussion, Members raised issues relating to affordable housing, separation distance, daylight and sunlight, parking and consultation. Members heard from Mr Manhertz that as the scheme was for a student accommodation there was no requirement for family housing and that adequate separation distance would be maintained thus preventing potential harm to the living conditions of the occupiers of the adjoining Electric House. The issues about daylight and sunlight would impact only a small corner without causing any material harm. Officers also clarified the parking/servicing and drop off arrangements designed to reduce any parking stress and added that the consultation undertaken and the amendments submitted were acceptable.
DECISION: Granted planning permission as recommended.
(Voting on the recommendation was: For 3, Against 1, Abstention 3).