HISTORIANS are worried about losing the character of the area if two large scale developments for modern flats are given the go-ahead.
A developer has revealed proposals to build a seven-storey block of flats on the site of Electric House, Willesden Lane, Willesden, and another developer has submitted an application for the adjacent site to stand at a similar height.
Neighbours fear the area is being irreversibly changed.
Katy Layton-Jones, an urban historian who is chairwoman of Willesden Town Team’s planning group, said she did not speak for everyone in the team, but people were frustrated.
She said: “This is a conservation area and there are a lot of historic buildings which define Willesden Green. They are pushing for very high density and high rise and I think this is most people’s frustration, that despite what happened with the library they are building something which has no identity.
“We are not anti-development, on a lot of sites we would like to see development. We would like to have housing which reflects the character of the area.”
There have been 13 objections to the Electric House site and six objections to the application for the flats on Queen’s Parade to date. The flats in Electric House would be solely affordable housing and owned by Network Stadium Housing Association.
The application for Queen’s Parade was submitted in May by G H Investments and is for 34 homes for private sale. It has been recommended for refusal and will be discussed at the planning meeting at Brent Council on Wednesday.
Martin Redston fought to save Willesden Library in High Road, which is being redeveloped into a new library and cultural centre and four blocks of flats.
He said: “I have no problem with the social housing in Electric House.
“I do think people should have more say. They will say they have listened, but it won’t change anything.”
The Willesden Town Team hope to become a Neighbourhood Forum so they would have more say on how the area is shaped in the future.
George Crane, lead member for development at Brent Council, said: “We are desperately in need of housing. That is the balance that has to be made and it is up to the planning committee whether these developments fit in with the local area.
“Everyone in the area will be consulted on the proposals. All planning applications are considered on whether they are suitable in planning terms and if they fit in with the area.
“All these developments are on the main roads and what it demonstrates is that Willesden Green is an area where developers want to build because it is a great place to live. It is possible to put in a well designed modern building which fits in with the rest of the area and that is what we have tried to do in the cultural centre development.”