Agenda item



NOTED the following questions and observations from attendees:


1.     A resident and Alma Residents’ Association member expressed that there had been very good consultation by Countryside Properties. There had been ten workshops and residents had influenced the proposed buildings and styles. Some accommodation would be open plan, some with an open kitchen, etc. Everyone wanted an award-winning, well-built scheme. If the second stage progressed as the first had done it would be fantastic.


In response to his queries regarding number of Council tenants, it was confirmed that there were currently 200 and that there was an agreement in place with the Council that could allow the number of Council homes to go up if required, but the number was based on the assessed need based on two detailed surveys of residents.


2.    Residents were pleased and wanted the scheme to be progressed now.


3.    With regard to height of developments, residents expressed they would like to see greater height down Alma Road and asked for consideration of extra storeys and more social housing. Planning officers confirmed that the scheme was of a different density at the moment and the highest density was proposed close to the station – this was a good approach in terms of policy, including the London Plan. There was also the need to consider the impact on existing dwellings in Alma Road. Councillor Simon suggested that it may be possible to give further consideration in phases 2 and 3 or at reserved matters stage. He also raised that density standards may be affected if there were four rather than two trains per hour serving the station. The applicants advised that the density of 388 habitable rooms per hectare was within the appropriate range.


4.    In response to a further query, it was confirmed that at its highest point, the development near the station would be 16 storeys, stepping down to 13 storeys. In contrast, the existing tower blocks were 23 storeys. It was also confirmed that the block would have two lifts, and that all flats would have a private amenity space with every home having a balcony, terrace or front garden.


5.    An attendee welcomed the green spaces proposed, but asked whether the Council would undertake responsibility for their maintenance. It was advised that there would be a management company responsible for the management of the estate. (Residents would be responsible for private garden areas.) Alma Residents’ Association was currently looking at putting together a resident-led management association. The funding would come from service charges.


6.    Concerns were raised that most parking here was from outsiders using the station and asked if there were plans to deal with commuters parking. Robert Parker, transport consultant, advised that surveys had been carried out throughout the day and it had been found there tended to be a reduction in demand for parking on the estate in the day time. Quite a few people used cars to drop off children and use the station, but during the working day many people left the site. The peak demand for parking was overnight. Parking surveys had been done at 1:30am when the highest amount of parking was found, and that was what the 0.6 parking ratio was based on. It was confirmed that surveys took dispersal and the number of occupied units into account. Parking issues may need to be further considered if capacity improvements were made to the rail line. Council officers confirmed that the only way of getting a higher frequency train service would be by providing additional track. Delivery was some way off. Further in the future, Cross Rail may also have an effect.


7.    An attendee asked what would happen to residents when buildings came down. It was confirmed that the phasing was designed to cope with this. Current residents had left Kestrel House and moved largely off the estate or to empty homes, and once the block was fully emptied, work would be allowed to start on Phase 1, which would in turn provide homes for those affected by Phase 2 and the development would move through the estate in that way.