Agenda item

20/0345 1 Morland Gardens, London, NW10 8DY

Decision:

Granted planning permission as recommended subject to an additional condition and amended condition 42 as set out within the supplementary report.

Minutes:

PROPOSAL:

Demolition of existing buildings and erection of a new mixed use building ranging in height from two to nine storeys, to provide new homes (Use Class C3), affordable workspace (Use Class B1), new further education college (Use Class D1), with associated amenity areas, public realm improvements, car and cycle parking and refuse/recycling stores.

 

RECOMMENDATION:

That the Committee resolve to GRANT planning permission subject to:

A. Any direction by the London Mayor pursuant to the Mayor of London Order

B. Any direction by the Secretary of State pursuant to the Consultation Direction

 

That the Head of Planning is granted delegated authority to issue the planning permission and impose conditions and informatives to secure the matters set out within the main and supplementary report.

 

That the Head of Planning is 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 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.

 

Mr Neil Quinn (Development Management Deputy Team Leader) introduced the report, setting out the key issues and answered Members’ questions.  He referenced the supplementary report and drew Members’ attention to additional representations received and officers’ responses to them. He advised Members that at the request of the Heritage Officer, officers had amended condition 42.  Mr Quinn also drew attention to an additional condition requested by Thames Water in order to protect underground strategic water main and utility infrastructure as set out within the supplementary report.

 

Mr Roger Macklen (in remote attendance) raised objections to the scheme for several reasons including the following and answered Members’ questions;

·         1 Morland Gardens, or Altamira was a beautiful landmark building since 1876 and an impressive part of the streetscene by the main junction that continued to make a substantial contribution to the borough’s local character and distinctiveness including Stonebridge’s townscape.

·         The building was a unique and irreplaceable resource that justified protection, conservation and enhancement but once demolished itcannot be replaced and its historic value would be lost forever to the community and future generations.

·         The demolition of 1 Morland Gardens would be a terrible loss, not only to the local environment, but also to the architectural heritage of Victorian Britain.

 

Mr Phillip Grant (in remote attendance) raised objections to the scheme for several reasons including the following and answered Members’ questions;

 

·         The proposal would cause harm and fail to show an understanding of the architectural or historic significance of the heritage building contrary to Brent’s policy DMP7.

·         The Heritage Impact Assessment failed to use the criteria for locally listed buildings approved by this Committee in July 2015 which he believed scored 10 out of 12 and thus was of high significance.

·         Brent’s Heritage Officer had acknowledged the demolition of the building, by its very nature, must be seen as substantial harm to the significance of the heritage asset.

·         Approval of the application, contrary to Brent’s planning policies, would not only condemn this valuable building, but set a precedent that would undermine Brent’s entire historic environment strategy, and put every heritage asset in the borough “at risk”.

 

Ms Stella Rodriguez (in remote attendance) spoke in a similar vein highlighting the following:

·         The Council had not properly considered the heritage importance of this building which needed to be preserved as a historical building. 

·         The demolition of this heritage asset would constitute a permanent loss to the community and future generations.

·         The proposals would set a precedent that would put every other heritage asset in Brent at risk of demolition.

 

Mr Erroll Donald (in remote attendance) spoke in support the scheme for several reasons including the following and answered Members’ questions:

·         The proposals for the Morland Gardens scheme, would be an essential step towards invigorating the local community by providing meaningful opportunities to live, learn and work sustainably.

·         The scheme would also create the space for continued, and much needed community engagement.

·         The scheme would provide real hope and genuine opportunities for people to access affordable housing, specialist skills training, and custom-built work space.

 

Mr Ala Uddin (in remote attendance) the applicant emphasised the educational merits of scheme for several reasons including the following and answered Members’ questions:

 

·         Although the building had character, it was not purposeful as it was old, dilapidated and structurally unsafe with certain parts restricted or without access to those with mobility issues.

·         The proposed re-development with modern, state of the art classrooms would provide a purpose built educational centre that would inspire people to live, learn, work and create as well as assist in meeting the growing demand for educational places within Brent.

·         The space can operate as a hub for activity in the area, with additional capacity that can enable other employment and enterprise services and partners to work there to enable a wrap-around service for residents to improve their skills, find work, and access other services such as mental health and financial inclusion.

 

Councillor Abdi Aden (in remote attendance) addressed the Committee.

Although he welcomed the proposals in terms of the provision of 100% affordable housing at 100% London Affordable Rent, affordable workspace, community facilities and a permit free development, he expressed the following concerns:

 

·         The re-development would result in the loss of an important heritage asset in the Borough, therefore detracting from local townscape and the character of this part of Stonebridge, contrary to Policy DMP7 and NPPF.  

·         From two storeys to nine storeys, the proposals represent an overdevelopment of the site, to the detriment of the amenities of the existing and future residents and out of character with the streetscene

·         Inadequate parking and servicing provisions for a development of that magnitude would be a recipe for traffic congestion, particularly at the busy junction of Brentfield Road and Hillside.

·         Loss of daylight and sunlight to adjoining properties from proposed development in particular to the lower ground floor flat of No. 2 Morland Gardens.

·         The proposals would result in the loss of open space around the site.

 

In conclusion, Councillor Aden requested that an informative be added advising the applicant to engage with the ward members, so that subsequent matters of concern can be mutually resolved as quickly as possible.

 

In the ensuing discussion, officers submitted the following responses to issues raised:

·         Recommendations on heritage assets outside of Conservation Areas were made on individual case merits.

·         Although the proposal conflicted with policy DMP7, the substantial benefits of the scheme outweighed any potential harm.

·         The proposal would provide seven wheelchair accessible units.

·         The car park management plan recommended would address any potential parking and traffic issues.

 

With no further issues raised and having established that all members had followed the discussions, the Chair thanked all speakers for their contributions and asked members to vote on the recommendation.  Members voted by a majority decision to approve the application subject to the amendment and the additional condition set out within the supplementary report.

 

DECISION:

Granted planning permission as recommended subject to an additional condition and amended condition 42 as set out within the supplementary report.

(Voting on the recommendation was as follows: For 5; Against 1; Abstention 2)

Supporting documents: