Beis Yaakov Elementary School opposes Colindale Tower

A north London primary school has criticized plans to bulldoze a car park and replace it with a 19-storey tower, fearing it will overhang its playground.

Hundreds of staff and parents at Beis Yaakov Primary School, an Orthodox Jewish girls’ school on Edgware Road, have lodged objections to the planned development on the nearby site.

Brent Council will assess plans to replace a car showroom and multi-storey car park with 165 apartments and retail space in a block of up to 19 storeys.

The school argues it is too big and some apartments will overlook its rooftop nursery and play areas. He said the building would be “overbearing” for some of his younger students, while the loss of daylight and sunlight could have a negative impact on students’ mental health.

Staff are also concerned that such a tall building – it will be about six stories higher than the school – will pose an increased “security risk” for fear of anti-Semitic attacks. Other potential issues raised by the school include the impact on parking in the area, which it says is “already limited”, and an increase in traffic caused by new stores in the building.

In addition to the school, objections were sent in by the owners of nearby Colindale Retail Park. They also criticized the height of the building and argued that the wider site should be redeveloped as a whole rather than “piecemeal applications”.

Several local residents have also responded negatively to the plans, suggesting that while Colindale is to embrace regeneration, developments like these go too far. They acknowledged that more tall buildings have been built in the area in recent years, but that does not mean that all major projects must be approved.

Brent Council planning officers have recommended that councilors approve the scheme, noting that the size of the building is “appropriate” given the surrounding skyline. They acknowledged there will be “damage” to the nearby school, which is a locally listed building, but that the benefits of the scheme outweigh this.

The Local Democracy Reporting Service has contacted planning officer Pegasus for comment.

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