Brent Council to discuss plans for St Catherine’s rebuild

Plans to redevelop a church hall damaged during an arson attack will be discussed by Brent councillors next week.

Its planning committee will assess proposals for a scheme at St Catherine’s Church, in Neasden Lane, on Wednesday (June 16).

There are ambitions to demolish the existing structure and replace it with a more extensive community centre.

If approved, it would feature a main hall, activity studio, community café, nursery, meeting rooms, and a music room.

According to a council report to be presented to the committee, the proposed floorspace of the new centre would be more than three times the size of the current hall.

The original hall, built in 1928, was “severely damaged” in an arson attack in 2018.

Following discussions about how to move forward, the church trustees felt a bigger, more varied space would “offer significantly more facilities to the local community”.

Council officers explained there have been no representations from the public but a report outlined the key issues councillors will have to consider.

They explained the development would not have a negative impact on the surrounding area, including the locally listed church and nearby Grade II listed The Grange, in terms of scale and design.

On the environment, the report noted the positive use of air source heat pumps as part of the proposal, while the potential for increased noise and damaged air quality have been deemed acceptable provided the developer can prove there would be minimal impact.

Six existing trees would be cut down as part of this application, though there are plans to compensate this by planting nine new trees at the site.

Finally, officers acknowledged a bigger site would likely lead to a greater impact on local traffic and parking – to address this, the developer would need to provide a detailed travel and car management plans.

The meeting will be available to view on the council’s website at 6pm.

Harrow Times | Local News