Tuesday 23 July 2013

Barnet Council approve ruination of the Welsh Harp

Outside Hendon Towen Hall
Barnet Planning Committee tonight passed the planning application for the West Hendon Development on the banks of the Welsh Harp by 5 votes to 4 after a sometimes rancorous debate.

The presentation by a planning officer of his report on the development provoked protests from Andrew Dismore AM for Barnet and Camden who said that he had never heard such a biased officers' report in 30 years involvement in politics. He said the officer was acting as a advocate for the developers rather than as someone presenting a balanced view on which the Planning Committee could make a decision.

Dismore asked why there had not been a ballot of residents of the West Hendon Estate and presented his own findings (see posting below). He said the luxury tower blocks would be for Russian oligarchs rather than local people.

Cllr Roxanne Mashari (Labour -Welsh Harp)  told the chair of the Committee that she would be writing to Barnet Council to record her concerns about the officer's presentation which amounted to a 'hard sell'. The length and veracity of the presentation had not been used for any other application.

Cllr Mashari said that when she visited the developers they had not even be aware of Brent Council's objections. She spoke about growing up near the Welsh Harp and what a much loved and  valued resource it was.  The 29 storey buildings would be an imposing and inappropriate presence looming over the reservoir.

Navin Shah AM for Brent and Harrow told the committee that the Welsh Harp was an exceptional site of tremendous value. The enormous scale of the development and its density was unsustainable.  The amount of affordable housing should have been at the target of 40% rather than the 25% in the application.

Cllr Javaid Ashraf (Liberal Democrat - Dollis Hill) told the committee that he was a former chair of the Welsh Harp JCC), He had three main concerns: density, damage to the SSSI and traffic congestion. He said he was not against redevelopment. He was supportive of 'a' scheme but not 'this' scheme.

The public loudly supported this last point. The officer's presentation had implied that the scheme should be supported because it was better than a previous scheme that had been agreed by the Planning Committee and that no other scheme was viable as it would not provide enough of a return to the developer to enable the social housing to be redeveloped.

Objectors will continue their campaign at the London Mayoral level.


trevor said...

Look at the greater Damage Done because of the Love for Money by legalizing The sale of Cigarettes in this country!
and even after countless Deaths from lung cancer The same people that are now being condemned for allowing the Welsh Harp to be sold off are the same ones responsible for ignoring the problems caused from smoking.
and to add insult to literal injury they talk about so called affordable housing which of course means havens of Torment.
Having grown up in Brent I can assure anyone Fortunate to Live in Decent Housing in other boroughs
when the councillors Talk about 'affordable housing' it means poor quality housing in which you will become familiar with torment for once reason or another.
What I'm saying is it is in vain putting your Trust in local authorities
because they will always Let you down.
in fact it's guaranteed.
it's like putting a hopeless alcoholic in charge of a bus or train and then expressing shock and surprise when the passengers are injured...along with the driver.

trevor said...

I consider it a insult to injury to read about people like Mr Dismore saying that he Thinks the luxury tower blocks would be for Russian oligarchs rather than local people.
are we To Believe he actually cares about the kind of housing local people have to Live in?
The impression I am left with having grown up in Brent is that the local authority does not seem to care about housing conditions?
I mean take Chalk hill estate for example.
It was allowed to become run down by the council but it was also by the council to be built to a poor standard and they have kept to that standard ever since.
I think they call it ' affordable housing' but what that really means is local people will suffer in poor quality housing which can rightly be considered as havens of torment.
I really feel sorry for people in this borough because they are being neglected and exploited day after day and much of the exploitation is approved by the people at the wheel of government.