Pantomime Villains

Demolition of the old Minavil House is due to start in November. Local residents and business people are braced to live and work next to a massive building site for the coming two years which will see the rise of Brent’s tallest building. The new high-rise ghetto will spoil the Alperton skyline for decades to come.

So, who is responsible for this dire state of affairs? As pantomime season approaches we have identified a number of candidates in the piece.

  • Councillor Muhammed Butt, the leader of Brent Council, who is ultimately responsible for the the big decisions taken by the council.
  • Alice Lester, Head of Planning, and her colleagues in the Brent planning department who pulped the Alperton masterplan and ignored the many concerns raised by local people.
  • Peter Mahoney and Nicholas Francis of R55, the developers behind the brazen plan to build a 26-floor skyscraper in a low- and medium rise neighborhood.
  • Lidl, owners of the site, which allowed the land to lie derelict despite obtaining planning permission with an earlier proposal in 2014.
  • Alperton councillors (Cllrs Allie, Chohan and Patel) who failed to turn up to the critical planning committee meeting on 24 May where the tower proposals were waived through without much critical questioning.

It’s not clear that this story will have a happy ending.

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