Saturday, 5 July 2014

Kensal Rise Library application to be heard following legal advice

The controversial planning application for Kensal Rise Library has been tabled for the Planning Committee Meeting of July 16th following legal advice. The item had been deferred at the last meeting LINK in order to seek further legal advice on whether the investigation into fraudulent emails supporting the developer's previous application was a 'material consideration'.

The new report LINK states:


1.     The Council has obtained advice from leading Counsel, Richard Drabble QC, since deferral of the decision by Members on the 17 June. The advice was required to establish whether the Committee could lawfully determine the current application having regard to the fraudulent emails, in support of the application, received during the consultation process in respect of planning application reference 13/2058. Counsel has endorsed the views given by officers, by correctly identifying that such claims of fraudulent activity, are not a material consideration for the purposes of assessing the current application.

2.     Counsel contends that he can see no reason why the grant of planning permission on the current application should prejudice the police investigation into whether earlier representations were bogus or fraudulent. In these circumstances Members are obliged to determine the application on an objective assessment of material planning considerations alone.

3.     3.The Council’s statutory duty also extends to determine planning applications within a reasonable period of time. Accordingly, any unreasonable delay by Members in deciding the current application second time around could result in the developer lodging an appeal to the Secretary of State (Planning Inspectorate) under section 78 (2) of the Act on the grounds of non-determination. Effectively, the Secretary of State would step into the shoes of the Council as Local Planning Authority and determine the application. If the matter were deferred again without proper justification for doing so, the Council will inevitably incur legal costs in dealing with and defending the appeal. The Council may well have to pay the developers professional costs as part of this process, if an order for costs was made on that basis. However, it is very difficult to predict what the overall costs are likely to be, but an estimated guess could run into thousands of pounds. In this respect Members should be mindful of the Councils fiduciary duty towards the local tax payer when balancing the degree of risk.

4.     In relation to the building being listed as an Asset of Community Value under the provisions of the Localism Act 2011 and the relevance of the listing status vis a vie the decision to be taken on the planning application the comments contained within the body of the report are duly noted by officers. Members should however, be reminded that inso far as FOKR being named as “preferred tenant” of the D1 community space, this is not an issue the committee should purport to determine as part of the planning process.

5.     In summary, and for the avoidance of doubt, Members are under a statutory duty to determine the planning application within a reasonable period of time; and that neither the requirements of coming to a proper planning decision or any need to avoid prejudice to the police investigation require any further delay.

RECOMMENDATION

Grant planning permission subject to the completion of a satisfactory Section 106 or other legal agreement and delegate authority to the Head of Planning or other duly authorised person to agree the exact terms thereof on advice from the Director of Legal Services and Procurement.

81 comments:

Anonymous said...

What is urgently needed is for FKRL to come out and say they do not support the planning application until after the fraud investigation.

To maintain any future respect from the community FKRL should come out with such a statement.

It is totally double standards by FKRL if they now support planning application when they requested the fraud investigation.

This could all go very wrong for FKRL if Secretary of State were to intervene as from a political point of view Tories could gain.

Anonymous said...

Seconded.

Meg Howarth said...

Independent counsel confirms that the planning application should not be deferred as even the fact of previous dishonesty - not asserted here - is not in itself a material planning consideration 'unless as a counter to some assurances...which are put forward to overcome a planning objection (eg "You can trust me not to cause a noise nuisance so you don’t need sound insulation condition")'; 'suspicions about previous misconduct are relevant to an assessment of the reliability of the statements made by the applicant about the matters which are material (eg "The existing building on site is dangerous and needs to be demolished")'.

The non-legal objection to the hearing of the latest planning application for Kensal Rise Library before Brent police have completed their investigation was never on planning-law grounds or because of concerns about 'prejudice to the police investigation' but simply one of commonsense. Whatever planning-law says, it seems ridiculous to consider an application by the same developer for the same site while a live police investigation into possible criminal behaviour around a previous application is underway, particularly on such a contentious application as this.

To recap: real addresses were used against bogus names in over 70 of some 78 comments supporting the developer's original scheme. Local business Gracelands Yard was named in several of those as being a potential beneficiary of the change-of-use planning permission. Proprietor Kirsty Slattery - an opponent of the application - was understandably distressed. Despite complaining directly to both Brent Council and the police last September, it was only in March this year, seven months later, that the council acknowledged her response - after her case was chased up. Worse - it appears that it was only then that the information she'd provided the council was forwarded by Brent to the police - from whom, it seems, Ms Slattery has yet to hear anything.

What is now of concern is that the investigation into the fake emails might be quietly dropped should planning permission be granted before the police have reported, not on grounds of 'prejudice to the police investigation' but for other reasons. After all, if it weren't for council leader Mohammed Butt's intervention immediately following the destruction of the pop-up library on 31 January, there wouldn't even be an investigation. The NFIB (National Fraud and Investigation Bureau) had earlier decided against pursuing the potentially fraudulent emails, citing the following reasons:

“The Police Service has finite resources and it is only right that these resources are directed towards crimes that are solvable with a proportionate level of investigation. As a Police Service we also need to channel our efforts towards preventing and detecting certain crime types that the people of London and Central Government have identified as being policing priorities. [The NFIB] has examined [Brent Council's] allegation and considered a wide range of factors when deciding if this matter should be further investigated by police. Included in my consideration is the likelihood of detecting and bring an offender to justice”.

The one person who could halt the planning hearing to enable the police to report first is the developer. Mr Gillick could withdraw his application pending the outcome of the investigation. That would be a commendable thing to do. It's in everyone's interest, including the developer's, that the police investigation isn't dropped. Andrew Gillick has come in for a lot of flak. A conclusion to the messy email business is essential, preferably before the planning committee makes its decision, currently slated for next week.

Meantime, surely an update from the council on police progress is in order before 16 July? It's 11 months since this saga began.

Meg Howarth said...

(cont)

It would be helpful if Cllr Butt would clarify who is currently head of Brent's Audit and Investigation Unit. On 27 June, he tweeted:

'.@Brent_Council @MPSBrent proud that Dave Verma head of audit and investigation being commended for his work'.

Until recently, Simon Lane held that post, in which capacity he was liaising with the police over the fake emails investigation.

Dave Verma's job is listed on the council's Anti-fraud and Bribery Policy document as

'Internal Fraud/Schools/Voluntary Sector/Direct Payments/Grants
Richard Wildey, Dave Verma'.

http://www.brent.gov.uk/media/3409933/Anti fraud and bribery policy.pdf

So has Dave Verma replaced Simon Lane, or was this a mistake on Cllr Butt's part?

Anonymous said...

Worrying indeed if Dave Verma has been commended as head of Audit & Investigation instead of Simon Lane who was certainly in post until recently. Brent has questions to answer over this, so let's hope Cllr Butt clarifies matters immediately.

Anonymous said...

At least one misleading statement can be found in Brent planners' report on planning app 14/0846, Andrew Gillick's latest for Kensal Rise Library:

'A sub-lease has yet to be negotiated and agreed but it is the intention of the College [All Souls] to let the space to Friends of Kensal Library at a peppercorn rate for a very long period' (Remarks: 17

http://democracy.brent.gov.uk/documents/s24252/07 Former Kensal Rise Library Bathurst Gardens NW10.pdf).

'The College' can't let the D1 space to anyone - the developer, not All Souls, is the landlord.

Anonymous said...

Well-spotted, and confirmed by the preceding comment in the planners' report:

'The applicant [the developer] in conjunction with All Souls College will determine who the future occupants [will be] following a bidding process in which all interested parties can bid to occupy the space' (Remarks: 16).

Anonymous said...

This matter could easily be resolved since the planning inspectorate will be visiting Brent on 22 July and a simply question could be put to the planning inspectorate " Should Brent wait until the fraud investigation is completed?"

Now that would be more sensible !

Anonymous said...

'Wait' for what? The latest KRL planning app is due to be heard on 16 July, a week before 22 July. A reading of the blog and comments makes clear the hearing cannot be deferred on grounds of the ongoing police investigation as that isn't a 'material condition' under planning law. Would that it were, but planning law, alas, trumps commonsense, as pointed out above.

Anonymous said...

The answer, alas, will be 'no', as blog and comment 22.08 make clear. The law, as has often been noted, is an ..., particularly so in this case I believe most folk would conclude.

Anonymous said...

Too right 'the law is an ass' - property rights-enabling planning-law clearly more sacrosanct than doing the right thing. Absurd and outrageous! I hope Andrew Gillick will show himself above this nonsense and follow the suggestion, above, that he postpone his planning application until the police have completed their investigation. That would be worthy of browny points, instead of the repeated misrepresentation of the developer as some kind of philanthropist - not even a label he'd claim for himself. The Kilburn Times has once again fallen into this trap today: 'In March, the developer gave community group Friends of Kensal Rise Library (FKRL) two-thirds of the building’s ground floor space to use as a reading room as part proposals to redevelop the site'. Mr Gillick did no such thing. Allocating a minimum of 1,500 sq ft was a condition of the November 2013 Option Agreement to purchase the building from then-owner All Souls College - most likely a face-saving device on the part of the wealthiest Oxford college to try and stave off some of the criticism for its failure to do the honourable thing and return the library to local residents.

And now, showing that irony is alive and well in Brent, it seems that 'If following the marketing campaign [of the D1 space] an occupier for the community space is not found the Council will be offered first refusal on the community space'. So the council, whose actions led to the loss of the library, is apparently also trying to save face: if FKRL don't get the tenancy, we want it! A move - the LTP - which was designed to save £1m, could end up costing Brent a lot - maintenance costs for the D1 space are unknown and will have to be agreed with Mr G.

Anonymous said...

Apologies. Option Agreement was signed in November 2012, not 2013.

Anonymous said...

Here's the link to the planning officers' report from which the above quotation about 'first refusal' is taken - see Section 106 Details, near top of document

http://democracy.brent.gov.uk/documents/s24252/07 Former Kensal Rise Library Bathurst Gardens NW10.pdf

Meg Howarth said...

Correction, Anonymous 20.14 (and 19.29) above: the precise date of the signing of the Option Agreement (OA) is unknown as it is redacted - together with the sale price of the library building - in the copy of the document released on the orders of the Information Commissioner under FOI: see para 29 (below) of the Decision Notice in favour of disclosure and against All Souls College's (ASC) refusal:

'29. The Commissioner considers that disclosure of the proposed date of completion and the price of the sale, at the time the request was made, would prejudice the College’s and the [named individual’s] commercial interests. After viewing the withheld information, and based upon the arguments provided by the College, the Commissioner does not consider that disclosure of the other terms of the agreement would prejudice the commercial interests of the College or the [named individual]. The Commissioner has however gone on to consider whether disclosure of
the remaining information would be likely to prejudice the College’s or [named individual’s] commercial interests'.

The date of the signing of the OA is crucial, however, to the fate of the library's Asset of Community Value (ACV) listing as ASC claimed the OA was signed BEFORE the listing in December 2012, thereby - conveniently - releasing the signatories to the OA - the developer and ASC - from provisions under the Localism Act of 2011 'designed to support the community right to bid by requiring the owner of the asset to provide sufficient time to community groups to prepare and submit a bid' - para 6.2 of the OA:

'An encumbrance includes, without limitation, any easement, restrictive covenant, lease or other right of occupation, use or enjoyment of the whole or part of the Property but for the avoidance of doubt any listing of the premises as an asset of community value under the Localism Act 2011 is excluded'.

It's the December 2012 ACV listing and Brent Council's assertion that the OA was signed prior to the listing - the independent legal counsel Brent engaged to view the document was forbidden to copy or make notes of same - that has led to the rumour that the OA was signed in November.

It seems extraordinary, given the Option Agreement's significance in exempting 'community groups' from 'the community right to bid', in this case for the Kensal Rise Library building, that the document isn't mentioned at all in the planning officer's report. Para 14.7 of the OA states: 'For so long as an obligation under this Agreement remains to be performed then notwithstanding completion of the sale this Agreement shall remain in full force and effect'. This surely makes the document relevant to the forthcoming planning committee hearing, but it's as if it never even existed. Perhaps the planners would like to explain.

Anonymous said...

Not merely a 'relevant' document for the planning committee to see before the 16 July meeting but crucial, surely?

The planning report - link 9 July 22.55, above - recognises that KRL's ACV listing is a 'material consideration' in considering the latest planning application - paras 6-8 inclusive. It is this report on which the members of the committee must rely in coming to their decision whether or not to grant change-of-use consent. How can they properly asses the relevance of the listing unless they can be confident of the date on which the Option Agreement was signed (when All Souls was the owner of the library building). The sale to Mr Gillick was completed on/soon after 31 January this year, so there can be no 'commercial reason' for keeping the date of the OA under wraps.

Why the OA hasn't been submitted for planning committee members to view is concerning.

Anonymous said...

What Brent planning Committee need to consider is has Brent complied with the following with link to land registry on rules governing ACV ?

Sarah Marquis you have a great deal of explaining, if you do not follow up with ACV listing of the building and the implications with land registry. This can't be overlooked and just shows Brent officer incompetence and or disregasrd, if they are not willing to draw the ACV listing to attention of planning committee.

http://www.landregistry.gov.uk/announcements/2012/form-qq

New standard Form QQ restriction

Registered land

Where the listed land is registered the relevant local authority is under a duty (under rule 94(11) of the Land Registration Rules 2003) to apply for the registration of a restriction in standard Form QQ against the registered estate:

No transfer or lease is to be registered without a certificate signed by a conveyancer that the transfer or lease did not contravene section 95(1) of the Localism Act 2011.

They must apply as soon as practicable after listing unless there is an existing Form QQ restriction in respect of the same registered estate.

Unregistered land

Where the listed land is not registered an applicant for first registration of that land must at the same time apply for entry of the Form QQ restriction in respect of that land (rule 27A of the Land Registration Rules 2003).

Where a person applies for first registration of that land and any of the deeds and documents accompanying the application includes a conveyance or lease to the applicant, or to a predecessor in title made at any time when the land was listed land, the applicant must, in respect of each conveyance or lease, provide a certificate by a conveyancer that the conveyance or lease did not contravene section 95(1) of the Localism Act 2011.

Cancellation of the restriction

A Form QQ restriction only catches transfers and leases (including those by operation of law). On registration of a transfer or lease, we will not normally cancel the restriction unless a specific application is made in form RX3 by or with the consent of the relevant local authority or its successor authority.

Beware

A transfer or lease in breach of section 95 of the Localism Act 2011 will be ineffective from the outset, unless the owner who made it did not know that the land was listed despite making all reasonable efforts (regulation 21 of the Assets of Community Value (England) Regulations 2012).

Further information

For information about assets of community value please see the Localism Act 2011 and The Assets of Community Value (England) Regulations 2012.

A non-statutory advice note for local authorities is available on the Department for Communities and Local Government’s website.

Practice Guide 19 – Notices, restrictions and the protection of third party rights has been updated to include the new Form QQ restriction.



Anonymous said...

Wow ! What a Bombshell !!!

The ACV can't be simply overlooked by Brent Council.

Nor can it be overlooked by Gillick if he continues with his application as he was well aware of the ACV listing and is in breach of section 95 of 2011 Localism Act.

If the fraud investigation can't stop this the AC V listing can.

Brent is a total disgrace if they don't put a Holt to this immediately.

This al

Anonymous said...

Looks like the Planning Inspectorate or perhaps the Secretary of State will be paying Brent a visit, if they do not simply accept the need for the ACV to be considered and correctly administered.

At least the Tories and Lib Dems got something right with ACV and Localism Act, as it gives a community asset greater protection than first thought. It is not simply keeping a little black book of community assets that gets forgotten about.

Pity the current Brent Labour administration seem hell bent on giving community assets away to developers.

Shame on you Brent Labour, your are now more Tory than the Tories if you continue allowing developers the freedom of buying community assets on the cheap.

Anonymous said...

It should be note that Richard Drabble QC case list is more akin to immigration and human rights, than planning issues and so therefore despite being highly respected, another lawyer could easily take a different stance. A second opinion might be wise.

http://www.landmarkchambers.co.uk/richard_drabble

Anonymous said...

Interesting Legal Precedent Case considering what material considerations comprise when a planning authority is considering an application for planning permission."

In R. (on the application of Copeland) v Tower Hamlets LBC [2010] EWHC 1845 (Admin) the court considered the fundamental question as to what material considerations comprise when a planning authority is considering an application for planning permission. The opponents of a planning application for a hot food takeaway very close to a school entrance had urged that the grant of planning permission would be wholly inconsistent with the school’s ‘healthy eating’ policy. The planning authority wrongly refused to treat this objection as a material planning consideration. The court held that this decision should be overturned and that treating health as a material consideration is wholly consistent with decisions regarding telecommunications masts and nuclear installations.

Allegations of "Fraud" surely amount to material consideration ?

Anonymous said...

Re second opinion, see Meg Howarth's above - 7 July 22.08: independent legal counsel agree.



Anonymous said...

The Option Agreement - and the failure of the planners to include it in the planning report - may also contribute to the halting of next week's planning hearing. The document was submitted to the planning officer in April.

Anonymous said...

I'd like to thank everyone who has contributed to this page. This really is grassroots' democracy in action, and the foundation for wider democracy.

Anonymous said...

As a few people have previously pointed out, Councillor Marquis position as chair, puts her in a very difficult professional position if she does question all the issues that have been brought up.

Lets just hope Councillor Marquis realizes the utmost importance of this planning application. This might include simply suggesting to refer this whole matter to the Secretary of State and let the Secretary of State make the tough decisions.

If I were in her shoes with a professional reputation to consider, passing the buck to the Secretary of State would be the simplest solution, as it would then bring clarity over a number of issues such as, planning law and loss of 80% D1 space without adequate compensation, ACV listing implications and fraud investigation to name but a few very real issues that Brent officers are overlooking.

Community members feel so aggrieved, that an appeal to the secretary of state could be submitted separately and independently by the community in any event, if Brent Planning Committee decide to approve this application.

Better to be safe than sorry.

Anonymous said...

Brent planning Committee need to consider the legality of contract between Gillick and All Souls College given ACV.

Conveyance does not seem to have been followed correctly and a very good reason for case to simply be forward to Seretary of State for clarification in practice how ACV works.

For example A property with ACV listing should a planning application also be a trigger for opportunity for community right to bid ?

It is after all likely that a property with ACV listing may not be physically sold, but an owner seeks to realise the asset value via a development that would then give rise to a sale or number of sales after planning application is approve.

It does seem seeking clarification on the workings of ACV would be extremely wise.

The developer is unlikely to succeed on any claim for costs on such basis, if clarification is sought on ACV. This seems to be Brent officers main worry if developer might seek costs on delays to planning application. The developer purchased property knowing the intention of an ACV listing so can't complain with any delays to clarify these knew legislation.

Anonymous said...

Not sure how Brent Planning Committee can now approve the officers recommendation.

There are more questions than answers.

Just shows slap dash approach of Brent Council officers in not dotting the I and crossing T.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps the officers feel under pressure? The 'right of first refusal' by Brent Council on the D1 space, should the bidding fail to produce a tenant, is surely a political decision, albeit it may have been an officer-generated idea. The entire business is farcical.

Anonymous said...

I suggest everyone who's concerned abut the future of Kensal Rise Library read the planning officer's report carefully - link here

http://democracy.brent.gov.uk/documents/s24252/07 Former Kensal Rise Library Bathurst Gardens NW10.pdf

The planners' response to the 80% less D1 space on offer: 'The applicants have provided information of other D1 spaces within the local area which are not fully occupied at present while the proposed use will allow for a more intensive use of the facilities than existed with the previous library use' (see Consultation Responses in report).

It's up to everyone who wants to oppose the application to speak out.

Anonymous said...

Wonder if the failure of the officers to include the Option Agreement in their report to the planning committee is also a political decision? It is one which could cause the planning hearing to be deferred yet again.

Anonymous said...

In response to loss of D1 the fact Brent over the years did not refurbish and upgrade the building should not in itself be used as a claim the D1 area was not wanted by the community.

An issue that has not been considered by Planning is the long term need of D1space with proposed redevelopment of old oak common area.

Anonymous said...

Agree both points.

Anonymous said...

Agree completely with Anonymous 12 July 2014 10:41 regarding legality of the contract - the Option Agreement (OA) between Andrew Gillick and All Souls. If, as Anonymous suggests, conveyance has not been followed correctly, then planning committee's granting of planning consent without clarification re ACV - a 'material consideration' - would be foolhardy.

Like all contracts, the OA is enforceable through the courts. Granting planning permission without ensuring that conveyance has been followed and that all the 'Obligations' under the OA have been fulfilled could lead to - almost certainly successful - legal challenge.

Agree also with Anonymous: 'The developer purchased property [KRL] knowing the intention of an ACV listing so can't complain with any delays to clarify these knew legislation'. He would be unlikely to succeed regarding any any claim for costs in respect of ACV legislation.

Anonymous said...

Planning officers' report (Consultations: All Souls College) - 'They have confirmed that the College will be allocated the community space, and although a sub-lease has yet to be negotiated, it is the College's intention to let the space to FKRL'.

This is meaningless
i) it's in breach of para 15.1 of the college's contractual Option Agreement with Andrew Gillick: ''The Buyer [Gillick] agrees with the Seller [ASC] that it will lease the library accommodation so identified in the Property to such third party as the Seller shall nominate'. This legally enforceable contract trumps any non-legally binding Letter of Intent signed between Gillick, ASC and FKRL;
ii) Gillick's offering of basement space in his first application in breach of para 15.1 - 'none [of the D1 space to be] in the basement' - demonstrates the unreliability of statements made by the developer.

Anonymous said...

Brent Planning Committee simply can't ignore the ACV.

It is ironic FKRL instigated both Fraud investigation and ACV and yet seem very silent on both issues now. FKRL seem content for the building to simply be taken away from the community with NO GUARANTEE OF A LIBARY !

I simply do not trust FKRL to act in the interests of the community.

It is clear from the way they have acted in the past few months, they have been bought for their silence.

They do not deserve to run a community facility on behalf of the community.

That is the sad truth of it all.

Anonymous said...

Threatening Councillor Marquis with all the above isn't really ethical or fair.

She should be allowed make the correct decision on planning merits and with the information she has.

The planning officers have carefully considered all the merits of the scheme including the ACV listing.

Refusing an application because we want to see an option agreement is just delaying the community being given a new library- hardly in anyone's interests.

Anonymous said...

Exactly why FKRL can't be trusted.

They are living in dreamland if they think they will end up with library space.

There is no guarantee library space will be given to FKRL.


Meg Howarth said...

The Option Agreement is available to see here

https://www.dropbox.com/s/g20egs1atxoqogr/AS%20OA%202012%20Scan.pdf

It appears relevant to planning as it refers to ACV which the planning officer's report considers a 'material consideration'.

Anonymous said...

I doubt independent-minded Cllr Marquis can be 'threatened' by anyone. She showed her clarity of thought and determination at the June planning hearing. Remember, she is also a lawyer. Failure of officers to present all relevant documentation in respect of a planning application could lead to legal challenge. The Option Agreement is a legally enforceable contract.

Anonymous said...

No-one is 'threatening' Cllr Marquis as far as I can see. The very suggestion seems like an attempt to smear those raising legitimate concerns about a controversial planning application. Not sure who the 'we' is to whom you refer.

Meg Howarth said...

Agree Anonymous 09.41 above - the Option Agreement is a legally enforceable contract.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps if Brent Council officers did a proper job we would not have to be pointing out to Councillor Marquis the issues that Brent officers keep overlooking.

Democracy via social media, you might not like it, but at least the voice of those who care about community assets can be considered and not simply the voice of FKRL who are now in bed with the developer and are not acting in the intetests of the community.

Over to you Councillor Marquis.

Anonymous said...

There is indeed no guarantee that the D1 space will be given to FKRL; nor is there any guarantee that the space will be used for a library as the officers' report makes clear: 'The provision of the D1 space for uses that fall within public hall/community type activities' (Section 106 Details); and 'The proposed use is as community space and is not restricted solely to a library use' (Officers' Response to Consultation Issues). It seems less of a case of FKRL being untrustworthy, more that they've allowed themselves to agree a non-legally binding Letter of Intent in their keenness to secure space for library provision. Tragic, given it was FKRL who secured the ACV listing of the library.

Anonymous said...

Anon 23:20

There is no guarantee you will get your library with Gillick

It is very possibly another financial crisis is brewing and even if Gillick is given permission he might have trouble raising finance this is what happened in 2007-08.

Argentina last could not agree with bondholders and has 30 days until potential default.

Portugese biggest Bank Esirito Santos is in financial trouble with shares suspended last Thursday.

Austrian Bank Erste posted Several billion loss on coming clean with bad Romanian and Hungarian loans.

Basel 3 capital require Banks hold more capital.

Therefore things are not looking rosy for developers in the coming months.

So do not think Gilick is everyone's saviour.

Anonymous said...

Excellent comment, Anonymous 12.36. Direct democracy in action. Very well-said!

Anonymous said...

Just notice recent Kensal Rise man living Clifford gardens recently convicted of cyber crime.

http://www.kilburntimes.co.uk/news/crime-court/kensal_rise_man_convicted_of_role_in_1_25m_cyber_fraud_scam_1_3434098

I bet the banks that were ripped of have not contributed a penny to the police investigation while alleged fraud of the community with the abuse of planning applications takes a back seat.

Fraud squad get your act into gear as ripping of the public purse via fraudulent support of planning applications should be top priority not banks who rip off Joe puplic in any event.

Funny how a conviction for cyber crime when a bank is involved less than 1 year.

No confidence in the fraud squad if they do not immediately update planning committee

Anonymous said...

I fully agree

The QE taps have been turned off and Financial Crisis Part 2 on its way.

Foreclosure notice for Kensal Rise Library, a sure bet, the way things are going with interest rates set to rise and hot Chinese money that has flooded London now evaporating with the inflated prices.

FKRL I would not be holding your breath for a library anytime soon.

FKRL did not want to listen to the sceptics and perhaps the sceptics have good reason to be sceptical.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 12.36 - bang on the button re democracy via social media - as citizens across the globe are finding out. As for FKRL being 'in bed with the developer' - wonder who encouraged them in this...?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 23.20, see today's comment 12.50 immediately above yours

Anonymous said...

Bring it on Democracy by Blog.

I would rather have true democracy with everyone able to voice their open opinion on blogs and social media as it gives as better understanding of the public mood and opinion.

Public opinion in FKRL v's community seems to favour
1. Suspension planning application until fraud investigation is complete
2. Correct application of ACV with community organizations allowed to bid prior to any planning application is considered. Correctly applying ACV with listing being registered with land registry would also ensure the long term commitment of D1 space whatever might eventually be agreed. Brent planning committee can't overlook the correct procedures of an ACV listing.

Anonymous said...

Who hires these Council officers ?

Is there a conspiracy with developers to appoint officers who overlook such basic issues to speed through planning applications ?

Brent could easily say the developers legal conveyance should have informed land registry of ACV and so therefore any further delay is the fault of the developer not Brent Council.

Simples, unless of course the officers are in with developer.

Developer could then seek any redress from his legal team not Brent Council for any further delay.

Bingo Brent off the hook and lawyers in the frame.

Now that would be a result.

Anonymous said...

Quelle hauteur, Anonymous 13 July 23.20! Participatory democracy clearly not your thing. 'Democracy via social media' - brilliant phrase, Anon 12.36! - aka people thinking for themselves - obviously upsets you. Change is in the air and I, for one, am delighted folk are rousing themselves. Free-thinking people, not sheeple, is what a healthy 'community' - your word - needs.

Anonymous said...

Glad Martin is in charge of moderating as it would seem he allows unbiased debate.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 13 July 23.20 - you state that

'The planning officers have carefully considered all the merits of the scheme including the ACV listing'.

Then grateful to know why you think the 6-month bidding process wasn't initiated immediately after the ACV listing in December 2012 - in accordance with the Community Right to Bid - and why the officers' report fails to mention this? Why is the bidding to begin only once planning permission is granted for change of use? If permission granted, it will be at least 19 months AFTER the ACV listing. If I were Cllr Marquis, I'd want to know the reason for that delay given that the officers' report states unequivocally

'the fact that the building is listed as a Asset of Community Value is also a material planning consideration as it reasonably demonstrates that there is a local demand for community facilities within the locality and in particular a demand that those facilities should be provided on the subject site'.

As others have commented above, I trust Cllr Marquis will dig deep.

Anonymous said...

I guess if Martin was popular spokesperson for democracy and 'unbiased debate' he would have been elected in last elections.
Yes, something wrong with the 'people', I know.
Democracy by social media?
Get out more.



Anonymous said...

The process has been initiated - all disposals subsequent to the binding agreement which was signed in November 2012 (and counsel decided the agreement was legal and binding) are subject to ACV.
You need to familiarise yourself with the Localism Act and do a bit of digging yourself.

Anonymous said...

Councillor Marquis needs to put on hold this planning application given the total shambles Brent officers have made of it !

ACV is surely a material consideration!

Anonymous said...

Sadly the sheeple follow the goats rather than the wise monkey.

Anonymous said...

It certainly seems as if planners have made a total shambles - see latest from FKRL's update this evening:

'Mandip Sahota, Associate planner for the developer stated:

Further to advice provided by the LPA [local planning authority, ie the planners] in respect of the Assets of Community Value Regulations 2012, I am pleased to advise that the applicant has today confirmed that he is naming FKRL as the ‘actual’ tenant, as opposed to his ‘preferred’ tenant, subject of course to lease negotiations, management plan etc being satisfactory. We trust this goes some way to giving the Council, the FKRL and the local community the confidence to support this planning application'.

Or is this Gillick's and the council's attempt to pre-empt yet another deferral of the planning committee hearing while committee in case of legal challenge - see Anonymous above, 12 July 10.41.

So those sneering at social media would do well to think carefully about this change of stance.

Anonymous said...

Ah, Anonymous 22.39 - 'counsel decided the agreement was legal and binding' - and hid the date from FKRL, much to the Trustees anger. Councillor, legal officer, or ....

Anonymous said...

'The process has been initiated' - so why the belated 'advice' from the planners today via Mandip Sahota, Associate planner for the developer:

'Further to advice provided by the LPA in respect of the Assets of Community Value Regulations 2012, I am pleased to advise that the applicant has today confirmed that he is naming FKRL as the ‘actual’ tenant, as opposed to his ‘preferred’ tenant, subject of course to lease negotiations, management plan etc being satisfactory. We trust this goes some way to giving the Council, the FKRL and the local community the confidence to support this planning application'? Seems like somebodies were getting worried there might be another deferral.



Central to the legal statement in the blog at the top of this page is:

Anonymous said...

And the fish that follow the trawler, don't forget about them.

Anonymous said...

It seems to me Councillor Marquis would be wise to simply request Secretary of State to review ACV listing and issues with binding agreements that some seem to think skirt around the issue of ACV listing.

KRL was listed during sale process and well before sale transaction was registered with land registry.

ACV is a material consideration as any future disposal of individual flats it could be argued the community should have right to bid and not private owners.

This might be a way of getting more social housing if a developer is forced to first offer flats to the community under right to bid.

The whole situations needs a thorough review and not by Brent officers who's only interest is to rid themselves of a major headache that is Kensal Rise Library.

If planning permission is granted it should clearly be under conditions of ACV that developer is forced to offer flats to the community rather than private individuals.

Now that would be a funny.

Anonymous said...

This gives me no confidence at all.

As per post 9:16 if planning permission should the flats be offered under community right to bid ?

This needs full clarification and not some deal done between developer and FKRL as FKRL can't not now be trusted.

What is the use of less than 20% building remaining a community asset ?

100% of the building is listed as ACV and so it should remain.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 22.39 - Ms Ledden/planning officer/cllr, perhaps? 'Disposals' a technical word not used by the general public. Please don't sneer at active citizens, some of whom are learning as they go along and aren't paid to handle planning matters.

Anonymous said...

Community Right to bid allows a number of Community organization to submit a bid.

The current assumption that FKRL should be the bidder has not been put to public scrutiny.

Brent Planning Committee need to either accept the need for a transparent bidding process of KRL or accept need for further clarification on works of ACV.

Anonymous said...

Fully agree.

The would be incredibly funny, if the flats under ACV have to first be offered to the community under ACV.

This immediately has to be clarified by Planning Committee disposal of flats under a building with ACV.

Anonymous said...

& What about the shark of a developer eating us all alive .

Anonymous said...

Agree all the latest posts - excellent point re flats, 09.16, ditto 09.37 and requirement for a transparent bidding process. Thank you. The ACV question is clearly a big mess which planners appear to be trying to circumvent at the last hour with the legally meaningless statement from Andrew Gillick's spokesman, 15 July 23.39. It's important to remember also that the developer has shown himself to be untrustworthy when he proposed, in his original application, that part of the D1 space was to be in the basement in explicit contravention of the contract (Option Agreement) he'd signed with All Souls:

'The Buyer agrees with the Seller that it will provide at least 1,500 sq ft net internal area of accommodation in the Property (with at the majority of such space to-be provided on the ground floor of the Property and none in the basement of the Property)' (para 15.1).

This actual misconduct by the applicant is surely relevant to an assessment of the reliability of his statements about matters which are material, something which Cllr Marquis and her colleagues will surely wish to weigh this evening when hearing his revised application.


Anonymous said...

Pleease, 17.08 above - Martin didn't stand in the last election!

Martin Francis said...

"Wise monkey" indeed.,Anon 15th July 22.44! I did stand in the council election in Willesden Green and the result is on public record, so readers can make their own judgement. It is surprising how many Labour Party members, and even councillors, would welcome a Green presence on the Council. A long way to go, unfortunately.
http://democracy.brent.gov.uk/mgElectionAreaResults.aspx?ID=84

Anonymous said...

If 'all disposals subsequent to the binding agreement which was signed in November 2012 (and counsel decided the agreement was legal and binding) are subject to ACV (Anonymous 15 July 22.39)', then it seems 09.16 has hit the nail square on - the 'disposal' of any flats are also subject to ACV, something planning report fails to make clear.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, all, can't resist - LOL!

Anonymous said...

If planning committee do and I very much doubt they approve the application tonight they should at the very least set a timescale for actioning Community Right. Approving planning permission without setting a timescale for Community Right to bid may simply result in a community challenge under the grounds due process was not followed.

Seems to me further clarification of ACV is required pronto as it is opening up a can of worms and highly relevant to Queensbury application so Brent ought to get things 100% correct.

Ironic that FKRL requested the ACV but now do not seem intent on forcing 100% of building to remain a community asset.

Shame on FKRL for not sticking up for 100% of the building.

Anonymous said...

Back to the drawing board Brent Officers or might I say p45 for any Brent officer responsible for this utter mess.

I really can't believe the Brent Officers responsible for this mess can retain their jobs and this includes senior officers who ought to know better and should not be sending a recommendation to planning until all bases are covered.

Anonymous said...

Apologies poster at 17.08. I didn't realise Martin stood at the last election - I wasn't around. I should have checked before commenting.

But it's a pity you pit social media against 'the people'. 'The people' are the bulk of social media. You may not like it - not everyone does - but to deny its role in democratic debate is to blindfold yourself from reality - even FKRL is on Twitter and Facebook. Those using social media ARE getting out as I believe WM blogs prove. They're taking an active interest in events in their neighbourhoods, and sharing information and commentary with others. That is surely what democratic debate is all about?

Anonymous said...

Politicians want to rid themselves of a mess of their own creation - the fall-out from the risible LTP (Library Transformation Project), most likely itself an officer-generated idea. Officers trying to do the necessary to end the farce that continues to run regarding KRL.

Separately, no update on the fake email business. That is a serious lapse, even though, in defiance of commonsense, issue isn't considered a 'material consideration'.

Anonymous said...

Seconded.

Anonymous said...

Gosh - Martin has posted another blog summarising the issues prior to tonight's contentious meeting. He's sensibly linked it to this one

http://wembleymatters.blogspot.co.uk/2014/07/round-3-of-kensal-rise-library-planning.html

Anonymous said...

Yes it would seem the granting of a planning application would trigger Community Right to bid as the developers intention is to secure planning permission, develop the site and dispose of the assets as flats.

The ACV is a material consideration, as it would impact the ability of Community Right to bid for those flats and or community might not want flats, but community space.

Brent officers report do not given any indicating of the long term impacts approving this application have on status of KRL ACV listing.

Anonymous said...

Elections - let's not forget the party machine that is behind the three big parties, and the blind vote by many who continue to put their trust in the Labour Party. Your comment re social media will be music to the ears of the professional party politicians - discussion on social media is challenging their effective stranglehold on the electorate.

Anonymous said...

Where were all of you tonight?

Supporting Jodi?

Shame on all of you.