195 new affordable rent homes proposed for Brent estate

Following the decision by Brent Council in August 2021 to drop proposals to rebuild the St Raphael’s Estate in north-west London, in favor of an infill proposal that will deliver up to 380 additional homes without demolishing any existing stock.

In 2019 Karakusevic Carson Architects was appointed to the project to draw up plans for both a complete redevelopment of the 759-home estate, which was built between 1967 and 1982, and an alternative infill scheme.

The redevelopment option was not deemed affordable for many reasons, according to a letter from the leader of the council Muhammed Butt said the decision was ‘due to a number of factors, including uncertainty around the future availability of funding from the government’.

The consequence of this is that the new total net new home delivery will reduce from 1306 to 370, with the pre-existing homes on the site set to be refurbished.

The St Raphael’s Estate is a 21.4-hectare residential estate that sits between the Brent River and North Circular Road. It also includes the east side of Brent River Park.

The proposed development, as seen from the North Circular. From the planning application.

The infill proposals led by the landowner and the local authority, the London Borough of Brent proposes in its first phase of estate infill which means an estate ballot of residents would not be required as is the case for estate redevelopment.

Proposals by the same architecture practice, Karakusevic Carson Architects propose a series of townhouses on Tillet and Overton Closes.

These will be four new homes for larger households ranging from 3-bed/5 person at the smallest through to 4-bed/7 person properties. Larger households typically have the longest wait on the council housing waitlist.

Furthermore, the council proposes building on some of the Brent River Park. As the site is wholly within the designated open space there will be a net loss, which is a departure from policy G10 of the Mayor of London’s London Plan.

This is to enable five new buildings at Blocks A-D which will have 177 new dwellings, predominantly smaller 1-bed and 2-bed homes.

Proposed illustrative landscape improvements, credit Karakusevic Carson Architects

Plans to build over some of the green space, which is situated immediately north of the North Circular is justified in planning documents as the rest of Brent River Park will be subject to landscape improvements, including new play spaces, outdoor gyms, and flood mitigation improvements.

All of the homes proposed within this scheme, alongside future phases of the St Raphael estate will be for “Affordable Rent”, at which rent level is to be confirmed.

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