Guest blogger Jaine Lunn raises a vital issue that puts a big qustion mark over the London Welsh School's bid to open a school in King Edward VII Park, Wembley.
Collins Lodge in King Edward VII Park has a plaque that reads "Queen Elizabeth II Award Jubilee year 2012 by Fields in Trust LINK for Sport and Recreational use in perpetuity.”
Having contacted this organisation they responded I quote:-
"Brent Council entered into a deed of dedication with Fields in Trust in 2012. The deed is registered at the Land Registry and states that King Edward VII Park is held as a “public playing field and recreation ground, inclusive of a bowling club and sports pavilion” in perpetuity. I have attached our guidance document on how we protect recreational land which may be of interest.If the landowner of a protected site wants to make a change that is outside of the permitted use then they will need to formally seek the consent of Fields in Trust. We have a process in place for that and I attach that information for your reference. This guidance outlines what our responsibilities are with regards to assessing such matters. All decision are taken by our Trustees.Fields in Trust do not get involved in the local management of sites as this very much stays in local hands. So any changes to a site which fit within the agreed user clause do not require our consent. There is some flexibility built into the deed of dedication, for example our Trustees may at their discretion consent to the disposal of land provided that betterment for local communities in terms of outdoor sport, recreation and/or play can be demonstrated.I can confirm that Brent Council did submit a formal request to Fields in Trust with regards to granting a lease on the disused bowls pavilion area to the London Welsh Language primary school on a 15 year term, and in addition to erect a single storey classroom block and convert the paved hard landscape area to an all weather playground. We were advised that the bowling green and Pavilion are unused and the area fenced off, furthermore there was no bowls interest.I can confirm that the Council’s request was rejected by our Trustees in January 2015 because the site is protected for recreational purposes and the proposed new use would be outside the objects of the Deed of Dedication. In order for the matter to even be reconsidered by our Trustees the Council would need to offer up for protection a replacement site of at least the size of the land being lost or provide a payment which is to be made available for investment in the facilities within the remainder of the site. To date we have not received a revised application, which I believe would only be forthcoming should planning consent be granted."
As we have all seen on the site visit It is not a fair and equitable swap as it neither matches the size of the land proposed to be built on neither is it comparable to be used for sports. In the additional documents that have been submitted in the interim period the idea that residents should be able to sit on this land and be able to access a view comparable to the view from Primrose Hill over Central London is laughable and whoever cited this as acceptable "should have gone to SpecSavers" about covers it, or suggests they are taking some form of medication to enhance their very vivid imagination.
Knowing all of the above, what really baffles me and to which I seek answers to the following questions.
1) Who originally suggested/proposed the idea to the London Welsh School that this was a suitable location for their school?
(After all they had investigated 98 other locations, 65 of which was outside of the London Borough of Brent.)
2. Why did the Brent Planners not reject this immediately knowing that the land was protected?
3. Having ignored the fact, made an application, which had they thoroughly read and understood the deeds of dedication they had signed would have realised that it would be rejected?
4. Why are they still supporting this application to grant permission, knowing that they must make another application to Fields in Trust for approval when the suggested land swap is also unlikely to be approved by the trust.
5. How are they justifiying a complete and utter waste of time, money and resources of all concerned?
I would appreciate any answers to the above, from anyone!
To Brent Planners I say stop this nonsense and reject now.
This land is public owned Land and should remain so for the people of Wembley to enjoy as was originally decided when bought by the local Council back in 1913 to compensate for loss of Parkland at Wembley Park.
MF A further question would be to ask why Brent Council have not informed the public about this agreement as part of the documentaion on the planning application. It is clearly a 'material consideration' for the Planning Committeee to take into account.