Brent Council’s Planning Committee met in early August to consider the proposal to develop the site at 1 Morland Gardens replace it with a new building that would provide a modern purpose-built home for Brent’s adult education service. 65 new council homes will also be provided which will be made available at London Affordable Rent, 21 of which will be family-sized homes, including a number of 4-bed and 5-bed homes.

Cllr Amer Agha, Cabinet Member for Schools, Employment & Skills said: “Given how COVID-19 has disproportionately affected Brent, both by case numbers and in its economic impact, this kind of new educational facility and the affordable workspace which will be provided, has never been needed more and so I’m very pleased that the committee voted in favour of the plans.

“While it means replacing the Victorian-era building, the benefits of the scheme are far greater and will have a tangible impact on the lives of our residents for generations to come.

“Scores of households will have an affordable place to call home, local entrepreneurs will have an affordable workspace to start-up their businesses and the new purpose built adult education facility will help Brent Start to do even more in providing new skills and qualifications for our residents, helping them to be more competitive in the job market and progress their careers.”

Harlesden-based youth leadership consultant and member of the project’s Community Steering Group, Errol Donald, passionately spoke in favour of the scheme, telling the committee that it was “an essential step in reinvigorating the local community, by providing meaningful opportunities for people to live, learn and work sustainably.”

Mr Donald added: “In providing real hope and genuine opportunities for people to access affordable housing, specialist skills, training and custom-built work spaces, I feel the scheme will undoubtedly play a key role in supporting a community that has shown incredible resilience for as long as I can remember.

“It is a community that I feel are equally deserving for the chance to thrive and grow as those who inhabit other areas of the borough.”

Brent Council’s Cabinet agreed in January to commit £43m to the scheme, including £15m of Strategic CIL money to fit out the new educational facility, all subject to the planning permission received last night.

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