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Residents oppose block of student flats over fears it will block view – South London News

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By Jacob Phillips, Local Democracy Reporter

A huge student development could be built in Little Venice – but residents are furious it will block views of the much-loved canal.

A 20-storey development with 768 bedrooms could right next to the Grand Union Canal if Westminster City Council grants it permission.

The student accommodation would replace the Travis Perkins building in Harrow Road – but nearby residents are worried it could block sunlight from their apartments, according to council planning documents.

The council has received 82 objections to the application from opposition councillors and resident associations.

The stepped building would vary between six and 20 storeys tall and 35 per cent of rooms will be affordable.

But Westminster labour leader Adam Hug has criticised the development when there is a shortage of housing in the borough.

Writing in the planning objections we wrote: “While 35 per cent affordable student beds is welcomed, it will do little to meet housing need in Westminster.

“The affordable contribution should be used to provide accommodation for local people at social rents.

“The hated Brunel Building should be the last 20+ storey building at the western end of the canal.”

Ward councillors for Little Venice added the building was excessive and it would spoil views.

They complained: “The height and bulk are excessive – blocking strategic views of Little Venice ward including John Aird Court and St Mary’s Terrace and views from Warwick Avenue Station towards Paddington.

“[It will] block daylight to neighbouring properties dramatically, with some buildings seeing more than two-thirds of rooms fall below industry-standard baseline values.”

Residents were also frustrated they would have a longer walk to pick up shopping deliveries.

One complainant from the South East Bayswater Residents’ Association said: “Further tolerance should be considered. Location less convenient than others tested.

“If deliveries are from the main canal frontage, then additional delivery times as further away from parking.”

Residents were also worried that noisy students could keep them up.

The plans will also be referred to the Mayor of London who can overrule Westminster City Council’s decision to build the apartments.

A Westminster City Council planning committee will decide whether to grant developers Travis Perkins permission to build the tower on March 8.

Pictured top: CGI of what the student block might look like (image: Westminter City Council)

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