Brent approves Morland spend

Morland Gardens in Stonebridge, the site of the current Brent Start adult education service, is set to be transformed into a mixed-use development with a state-of-the-art education centre, council homes, affordable workspace, community areas and a public café.

Brent Council’s Cabinet agreed the £43m scheme last week whilst commending the involvement of the local community, and the agreement to deliver 100% affordable council homes, combined with significant investment in skills and enterprise in the area.

A new education centre will help Brent Start provide a high quality service to help boost numeracy and literacy, expand its digital skills offer, a facility for arts and crafts and more support for residents with learning disabilities.

The development will provide 65 new council homes, with 32% of these being between three to four-beds. These properties will contribute to reducing the number of residents on the council waiting list, who are in need of a larger property.

The council say the building will be constructed to the highest design and environmental standards, to create a landmark building in the heart of Stonebridge and nearby to the communities of Church End and Harlesden. The building uses cross-laminated timber, significantly reducing the council’s carbon footprint as well as thermal storage techniques and air source heat pumps, instead of traditional gas or oil boilers.

There will be provision for green spaces in the external areas to promote bio diversity as well as offering a relaxing environment for residents to spend leisure time in outdoor spaces.

Errol Donald, member of the Community Steering Group said: “This is a significant investment by the council, and an important one for the Stonebridge area in the creation of social housing, adult education services and opportunities to improve skills, access work and develop new business ventures that will improve the wellbeing of individuals and families. It’s also a positive that the community have been involved in advising and shaping the regeneration in Brent to ensure to ensure that the outcome for residents is at the heart of what is delivered.”

Cllr Amer Agha, Cabinet Member for Schools, Employment & Skills said: “This new mixed-use development will provide a host of benefits to the local community including a top class learning environment for residents, much needed council homes, a new enterprise centre, as well as community spaces. We want the building to be used much more efficiently in a way that will benefit locals and make a positive contribution to their lives. We are looking forward to making this dream a reality.”

Work is due to begin in September subject to planning approvals.

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