Agenda item

Willesden Green Garage, St Pauls Avenue, NW2 5TG (Ref. 17/5291)


PROPOSAL: Demolition of MOT garage and erection of a part seven-storey and part four storey building with basement level to provide 70 self-contained flats (35 x 1 bed, 22 x 2 bed and 13 x 3 bed) with ground, third and fourth floor amenity spaces and ground floor play area, provision of basement car parking, cycle and refuse storage, alterations to vehicular accesses and associated landscaping.


RECOMMENDATION: To grant planning permission subject to the prior completion of a legal agreement to secure the planning obligations set out within the report.


That the Head of Planning be granted delegated authority to negotiate the legal agreement and to issue the planning permission and impose conditions (and informatives) to secure the matters set out within the report.


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 12 December 2018 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.


Damian Manhertz (Area Planning Team Leader) introduced the report and answered members’ questions and in reference to the supplementary report, reiterated the condition about mitigation measures to reduce overheating to some of the units.  Members were advised that the proposal would deliver 18% affordable units and 16 basement car parking spaces.


Mr Peter Hale (objector) raised concerns about the application on the following grounds;

Loss of light to neighbouring flats at No 75, in excess of BREEAM recommendation.

Excessive number of I bedroom units rather than family size units

Excessive density.

Unsatisfactory waste management arrangements to the detriment of residential amenities.


Mr Jorge Barbeito (objector) stated that the proposed development failed to enhance the heritage status of the area and adjoining listed building by its excessive height, overlooking to neighbouring property, unsympathetic scale and design, culminating in a development which would be out of character with the area.


In accordance with the Planning Code of Practice, Councillor Miller (ward member) expressed concerns about the application’s detrimental impact on light, the excessive density and lack of assessment of flooding impact.


Mr Mark Westcott (applicant’s agent) stated that significant amount of consultation had been carried out which had resulted in a revised proposed building from 8 to 7 storey and that the design was inspired by local buildings including Kingsley Court.  He added that the proposed development would provide acceptable level of daylight to 75 and 75A St Pauls Avenue as well as deliver a much needed affordable housing to the area.


Members then questioned the applicant’s agent on the level of affordable housing, compliance with BREEAM guidance and highway issues including relationship to the pavement.  In response, Mr Wescott stated that although the level of affordable housing was below the Authority’s 50% policy, it was the maximum that could reasonably be provided based on viability, and including 3x 3bedroom family units. He explained that the transport impact of the development had been assessed by independent consultants to ensure minimum obstruction to the highway and fewer van delivery to the site.


Mr John Fletcher (Team Manager, Development Control Transportation) stated that he was satisfied that there was not a highways safety issue, and that adequate spaces were available for smaller vans to park without obstructing visibility to Park Avenue.  He pointed out that as a ‘permit –free’ scheme, occupiers would not be entitled to a parking permit and therefore the development would not lead to additional on street parking pressure.


In the discussion that followed, Members acknowledged that the site was challenging, but expressed serious concerns about the application and were minded to refuse it for the following reasons; impact of the development on neighbouring properties including loss of light; inadequate affordable and family housing units; servicing arrangements and general impact which would be out of context with the area.


Prior to voting, Mr Manhertz reiterated the summary of key issues as set out in the report and added that the proposed development would represent a vast improvement on the existing site appearance of the area. Whilst there would be an impact on 75 and 75A St Pauls Avenue, this was not considered significant as to warrant a refusal.


Members however were minded to refuse the application contrary to the recommendation for approval, notwithstanding the advice.  A motion to defer the application was proposed by Councillor Colacicco and seconded by Councillor Maurice.  This was put to the vote and declared carried. The application was therefore deferred to another meeting for the reasons to be assessed by officers in a follow-up report.




DECISION: Deferred to another meeting for the reasons for refusal to be assessed by officers in a follow-up report

Voting on the decision was unanimous and recorded as follows:

For:                 Councillors Johnson, S Butt, Chappell, Colacicco, Hylton,

                        Lo, Maurice and Sangani                                                               (8)

Against:         None                                                                                                  (0)

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