Brent Council approved a major canalside development – which will be up to 23 storeys high – despite concerns from neighbours and businesses.

Its planning committee gave the green light to a scheme at Alperton House, in Bridgewater Road, which will provide 474 new homes across four tower blocks.

The project will also provide retail space, workspace and a replacement pub at the site of The Pleasure Boat.

Despite objections surrounding increased traffic and pollution, the scale of the development and potential damage to the Grand Union Canal, it was pushed through by a majority of councillors.

Jeffrey Ruffels, from Peabody housing developments, said: “One of our main objectives is to create great places for people to live.

“It is in our interest to make sure that the design and the open spaces are sustainable.

“I admit they are very tall buildings, but they have been designed to allow as much light as possible onto the canal and interfere as little as possible with the ecology.”

He added that traffic will in fact be reduced at the site since it is a car-free development.

Cllr James Denselow, chairman of the planning committee, noted that the application must be assessed individually after concerns were raised about the scheme’s design in relation to the wider region’s regeneration masterplan.

This was confirmed by planning officer Victoria McDonagh, who explained that the masterplan, which stated that buildings should not exceed 17 storeys, is “a guide and not prescriptive”.

She said the policy has changed since the masterplan was adopted in 2011 in order to address rising housing targets.

Alperton, she added, was designated as one of the borough’s ‘housing zones’ in 2015.

Cllr Michael Maurice, who voted against the proposals, was particularly concerned that a neighbouring business, which relies on satellite signals, will be affected by the new buildings.

But both the applicant and the council assured the committee that any negative impact from the scheme on nearby businesses would be addressed as part of the accompanying Section 106 agreement.