Thursday, 24 January 2013

Galliford Try the soft soap on land grab

Thanks to James Thurber
 In response to our 'land grab' story below Linden Homes released the following statement:

+++STOP PRESS: Galliford Try Statement in response to recent land acquisition claim

 ‘This claim is completely misleading - Galliford Try is not receiving or acquiring any further land from Brent Council.

We were asked by officers, just before Christmas, to resubmit drawings for the planning application. Those revised drawings show an amended red line around the development site which reflects the fact that Galliford Try will be undertaking significant landscaping improvements to the area around the Cultural Centre, including a section of Grange Road, to the benefit of the local community. Consultees have been informed of this change in line with statutory planning procedure.’
 Kate Spence has issued the following rejoinder:
The original area of the WGCC site allocated for WGCC works and attendant housing scheme was clearly defined by an edged and cross-hatched area on Plan A and presented to an Exec committee in Jan 2012.
The brief from Brent Council to the tendering developers and the agreement signed with Galliford Try required the provision of an improved public realm WITHIN the constraints of this hatched area. The brief required parking spaces for 8 cars, 2 library vans and cycle parking. It also required good out door amenity for children and teens. There was never an agreement that the boundaries of the site could be expanded in order to provide these essential requirements.
Currently the play provision for younger children on the site is 50 sq m of safe, fenced play ground. The land at the end of Grange Road is a safe, calm pedestrianised highway giving the benefit of uncluttered and neutral space facilitating cohesion to the High Road.  This is now to be cluttered by cycle parking and pavement play interventions which should have been accommodated within the agreed site leaving a calm area at the High Road end of Grange Road. 
We would welcome an improved public realm. There is nothing that the adjacencies of a cycle route, pavement play interventions and reduced pedestrian highway offer as an improvement to the stretch of land at the end of Grange Road. 
If there had been a smaller area of land made available for housing, then there would have been sufficient space to include these essential requirements within the agreed red boundary.  There should also be provision for 8 parking spaces on the site. 
The brief was written to protect public interest. Surely, Brent Council cannot approve a scheme that so clearly deviates from the agreed contract and their own brief.


  1. Galliford Try have chosen their words carefully. They are strictly correct in saying that they are not receiving or acquiring any additional land.
    What they are doing, however, is to extend the site boundary for the proposed development to include an extra 1180 square metres of BRENT land, to which they are not entitled under the Development Agreement. As Kate says, this is because the original 2170 square metres of the Willesden Green Library Centre site agreed by Brent's Executive is not big enough for the Cultural Centre and associated facilities that they are supposed to squeeze onto it.
    Philip Grant.

  2. I have been trying to email on the address but it keeps coming back with a failure. Do you have an alternative email? thank you!

    Thank you so much for all your work campaigning on the library!

    I thought the following article was interesting regarding the street markets in Harrow and how they improved the high street following the advice of Mary Portas.

    I was wondering if there would be a way to get her feedback on all the proposed developments in Willesden Green and whether the councillors would be convinced by her advice? It seems to me that a lot of the new developments in Willesden Green contradict her report she did for the government.


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