Neeru outlined the purpose of the development brief, which is to provide planning, design and development advice for the Ritz Parade site, which is almost entirely owned by the Notting Hill Housing Trust (NHHT), to help guide future development proposals as they come forward. In essence, there are two viable options.
Option A is a partial redevelopment, which retains the existing assembly hall and car park as well as maintaining a continuous retail parade along the North Circular Road. It would create around 71 residential units and 86 parking spaces.
Option B, the ‘Courtyard’ option, is a comprehensive redevelopment scenario predicated on the former assembly hall being demolished. Under this scenario 115 residential units would be created, but that parking will be limited to just 34 places. It is assumed that parking can be accommodated at grade along the routes.
Both options would have an element of community space, the nature of which is up for discussion. The assembly hall complicates matters in that the occupiers have a long lease and it would cost to buy them out, which would be prohibitive.
Discussion covered the following areas:
· The challenges of engaging with the Notting Hill Housing Trust (NHHT)
· The importance that any development reflects the character of the area and is of high quality design standards, but recognising that any design needs to be commercially viable
· Concerns about inadequate parking provision and the possibility of underground parking. This is technically possible, but prohibitively expensive
· Ensuing right of way access to schools across the Ritz Parade
· The definition of a ‘community hub’, no clear consensus, though noted that Ladderswood will itself have a community element
· The need for supporting infrastructure, such as a medical/walk-in centre, schools and nursery provision. Noted that Garfield School is being enlarged and will be open in the near future. Discussion on medical provision required with the Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG)
· Congestion on the A406 of which this development will surely aggravate it further and further diminish air quality
· Problem with crossing the A406, bridge, which is still not fully accessible after 2 years. Option of an underground walkway? Unlikely as it would also be prohibitively expensive. Nonetheless, would expect this to be addressed as part of the planning process
· Representatives from the Southgate Green Association believe that the assembly hall is distinctive both inside and out and would like it retained. They had concerns about the height, even with 5 stories. A steeped design would be better otherwise the look of the assembly hall could be undermined even if it is retained. Option B density is a concern. Brief provides framework that will help confront any development proposed by NHT.
· There was a suggestion that the cinema should be brought back into use. A good idea, but only if commercially viable. Again, any development needs to be realistic and we have to work with external bodies, such as Transport for London (TfL), CCG, NHHT etc. Aim here is to take into account residents’ views before we proceed in discussions