At a recent Brent planning meeting, a proposal to use an existing brownfield site of garages to build a three-storey building containing nine self-contained flats at Aneurin Bevan Court in Brent. This could set a precedent for west London which has many empty garages but a great need for affordable houses.
The committee members have been asked to consider the following points:
- Provision of new homes: Great weight is given to the delivery of 9 residential units, all of which would be affordable, which would make a contribution towards the borough increasingly challenging housing targets and would help to meet the specific needs of the borough
- Design, layout and height: The proposal makes effective use of the existing brownfield site. The building is of simple design and is of a scale that respects the surrounding context.
- Quality of the resulting residential accommodation: The residential accommodation proposed is of good quality. The residential units would have a good outlook and light. The amount of external private/communal space is acceptable.
The proposal also refers to points included in the draft London Plan December 2019 that support the proposal:
- GG1 Building Strong and inclusive communities
- GG2 Making the best use of land
- GG4 Delivering New Homes Londoners need
- GG6 Increasing Efficiency and Resilience
- D1 London’s Form and Characteristics
- D2 Delivering Good Design
- D3 Inclusive Design
- D4 Housing Quality and Standards
- D5 Accessible Housing
- D6 Optimising Housing Density
Editorial: View from the Union
Garages lock-ups, which are often empty or just used for storage, are located in multiple locations around west London. This directive raises the important issue of how best to use these properties. In a Capital City where land is at a premium and demand high, maybe this is an opportunity for planners to look at using this ‘dead’ space in a different way.
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