|Increase in schoool size to more than 1,000 pupils|
|Doubled in size to more than 840 pupils|
|Temporary (2 year) 4 storey school|
|Retrospective permission for 2.4m fence aroud public space|
|361 dwelling tower blocks next to Civic Centre/Olympic Way|
Last night's Planning Committee had a ridiculously heavy agenda with Chair Cllr Marquis, like a teacher bravely concealing her irritation with councillors (pupils) who at times were sleepy and clearly wishing they were somewhere else, and at other times making rambling contributions way off the point, struggled to make progress. Meanwhile the clock ticked away.
As always residents attending their first Planning Committee because of a local issue, this time the Uxendon Manor and Byron Court school expansions, were enraged when they thought their concerns were being ignored. There were cries of 'Is this democracy?', 'Are we in North Korea?'. 'You are a disgrace.'
Byron Court took up most time (see posting below). Cllr Keith Perrin made a presentation on behalf of residents. When Cllr Marquis asked if he had been approached by anyone about the application he answered 'between 1,000 and 2,000 residents'. About 1,400 of those who had put their addresses on a joint letter about the application had not been contacted by the Council about the officer's report on the planning application. He derided the plans to use the Northwick Park car park for parents describing its impracticalities and producing the numbers to back this up. At one point the officer's response made him put his head in his hands in despair. His mood wasn't helped when Cllr Marquis failed to give committee members a chance to ask him questions about his presentation although this was remedied later.
Several members of the Committee declared that they had received phone calls about the application from Barry Gardiner MP that afternoon. The application was narrowly approved. I made it four for, 3 against and 1 abstention. Loose ends will be tied up by officers regarding some of the conditions requested by Cllr Perrin. Members of the audience were reprimanded by Cllr Marquis when they scoffed in disbelief at Byron Court's Executive (she insisted on the title) Head Teacher's claim that the school travel plan was working well and that the revised plan, when the school had over a thousand primary pupils, would be equally effective.
The increased traffic arising from school expansion was also a major concern of residents around Uxendon Manor in an area with poor public transport links and questions were asked for each application regarding the need for additional school places in that particular area. The response was far from clear. In addition there were questions about overflowing sewers at Uxendon voiced by John Poole a long-time resident that were shrugged off by the development agent.
Cllr John Warren spoke for residents about the Marylebone Boys School temporary building in Brondesbury Park and he also raised the issue of flawed school travel plans and estimates of impact on public transport. He raised the issue of the height of the building (4 storeys) and its design being out of character with the neighbourhood as well as the noise with an increase from160 to 480 pupils on the site.
Marylebone Boys School application to fence in public space around its existing building in the former Kilburn branch of the College of North west London was approved without any representations.
It wasn't until about 10.30pm that the innocuous sounding 'Yellow Car Park' application was heard. Actually a huge development next to the Civic Centre with 361 rabbit hutch style dwellings and retail and community space the only query from members was about the possible provision of a nursery in one of the units. There were no public representations and a short presentation from Quintain. It went through in about 10 minutes in contrast to the earlier item.
There will be 134 one bedroomd, 109 2 bedroomed and 52 3 bedroomed flats at market rents. 8 one bedroomed, 10 2 bedroomed and 21 3 bedroomed at social rent. 12 one bedroomed, 9 two bedroomed and 6 3 bedroomed at 'intermediate' which the report states will be 'affordable'.