Saturday, 13 July 2013

Brent Planners; additional observations on West Hendon development

The following letter has been submitted to Barnet Planning by Brent Planning
Dear Mr Wyld,

West Hendon Estate, West Hendon, London,

Thank you for your letter in relation to the re-consultation on amended and additional information for the hybrid planning application at the above site. This also responds to the letter sent to us from Quod on 1O June 2013, in which they provide a response on the points raised in our observation letter to Barnet.
Please find further observations on behalf of the London Borough of Brent below:

(a)        Tall Buildings

Section 10.6 of Barnet’s Core Strategy discusses tall buildings and Barnet’s skyline. It is noted that a Tall Building Study was commissioned by Barnet Council, which identified locations for tall buildings within Barnet. One of these locations is at West Hendon (page 67 of the Core Strategy) which makes reference to tall buildings ranging from 8 to 20 storeys being appropriate in this location. This application still includes proposals for buildings up to 29 storeys in height, which is contrary to Barnet’s Core Strategy, and still raises significant concerns.

(b)        Nature Conservation

The points raised in our observation letter dated 29 April 2013 still remain. We do however note that a number of statutory consultees have been consulted including Natural England, Canal River Trust and the Environment Agency.

(c)        Transport

Bus Priority Lanes
Brent Council’s initial observations advised that Brent would not support the removal of the short sections bus lanes, as this goes against current policy for the AS.   The addendum to the Transport Assessment has not taken into account the concern around removal of the bus lanes.  In a couple of places in the document, they make the following statement:

”The results show that the removal of bus lanes, coupled with implementation of the improvement measures, along AS West Hendon Broadway will have benefit to overall journey time for either buses or cars whilst providing significant environmental benefits to residential streets and introducing significantly improved pedestrian facilities.”

If the bus lanes are not retained, then it is hard to see how the removal of bus lanes will have a benefit to overall journey time for buses.

Parking Levels

The addendum to the Transport Assessment is still recommending an overall number of spaces of 1600, which Brent Council considered as part of initial observations was rather high. Brent advised that it would be useful to understand if any of the Travel Plan measures could reduce the overall requirement for parking spaces. The addendum to the Transport Assessment does recommend that this amount of parking be reduced, but it does not say by how much. The comments raised within the initial observation letter still remain.

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