Friday 13 March 2015

King Eddies campaigners bowled over by all the support they have had

Guest blog 
On 4th March representatives from Friends of King Eddies Park LINK  and Wembley Champions LINK  went to Planning Committee to object to planning application number 14/4208 pertaining to King Edward VII Park.

This was for: Change of use of the bowling pavillion and adjoining land (Use class D2) into a primary school (Use class D1) also including the erection of a single storey classroom block, and part change of use of the land adjoining Collins Lodge (Use class C3) into parkland (Use class D2)

Whilst the re-consultation has been carried out, the committee's request for an alternative land swap site selection in accordance with National Planning Policy and Sport England's comments has not been adhered to. 
Are the committee satisfied that you've seen a comprehensive spreadsheet of sites considered? Have you been given detailed information as to how the other sites were discounted? Has a detailed and robust assessment of alternative sites with fully justified reasons been presented? 
The proposed landswap is sloping, waterlogged on recent visits with restricted views across the park. Several trees beside the footpath obstruct the views across the park. The land is not functional and usable. No replacement building is proposed, there will be no indoor community space. Not only is it not a comparable land swap, it is actually an inferior replacement. 
King Edward VII Park was bought by the council in 1913 (and opened in 1914) to compensate the residents of Wembley for the loss of Parkland at Wembley Park, which was being developed as a high class residential garden suburb.
The park is afforded a level of protection under the Fields in Trust award should planning permission be forthcoming. Fields in Trust rejected the London Welsh School's [The Head of Planning, Steven Weeks, corrected this later. He said to the Chair, Cllr Sarah Marquis, that he believed it was Property Services [i.e. Brent Council] who applied to Fields in Trust] proposal in January. 
The community have come together to provide an enhanced bowls offer and community space. They have a willingness to secure complementary uses for the space for a robust community asset.
Whilst planning application number 14/4208 does not comply with paragraphs 74 and 123 of the National Planning Policy Framework, as well as the Council's own CP18 of the core strategy and the All London Green Grid, our Community Business Proposal would comply with all the aforementioned planning policies.
 Paolo Di Paolo's speech:

(Huge thanks Paolo for being our second resident speaker again) 
This proposal in effect takes away a community sporting facility from local residents and seeks change of use to replace it with a private business operating as the London Welsh School.
There is no parking provision within this application. Neither is there a travel plan. It's been mentioned that the school will use the car park. The lower car park is used by groups playing cricket who I've spoken to, who said they would oppose the proposal.
The idea of compensating for the loss of the open space adjacent to the pavilion with the steeply sloping bank next to Collin's Lodge is not comparable and unusable. Supporting documents propose that residents sit or lie down on what has been completely waterlogged grass on recent visits, beside the traffic fumes of the frequent tail backs of stationary vehicles on Park Lane whilst enjoying a beverage and the views. In fact this will make Collin's Lodge vulnerable to vandalisation and arson. As an attractive notable architectural feature of the park and the wider Wembley area this would be tragic.
The Tree Officer's report has not been submitted with the documents. As no tree survey was provided, and, no reference is made in the committee report to the trees being felled, there is a real need for formal proof before the category B Monterey Cypress tree and 3 Irish Yew trees can be removed. Category B trees have the ability to contribute to the quality of an area for up to 20 years. Granting permission without such proof would be a travesty against nature. 
Child safeguarding is important. The location is too exposed to the public being in the middle of the park. Any CCTV & lighting would be subject to additional planning permission.
We urge our elected planning committee members not to permit the taking of parkland and a recreational facility from the people of Wembley and Brent. Please consider the limited evidence base, misguided supporting documents, limited re-consultation time, alongside the case officer committee report, to refuse this flawed proposal.

 Cllr Sam Stopp  has kindly noted my dedication to this campaign in his article "King Eddie’s is saved – now let’s make Wembley greener, cleaner and united. LINK

He states: "A brilliant campaign led by local resident, had gathered momentum in recent weeks to tip the balance decisively in favour of rejection. In the end, 6 members of the committee voted against the application, while one abstained. No members voted in favour."

The Local Press, Brent and Kilburn Times, published an article about the decision too LINK:

I would like to say massive thanks again to all of the team who have supported me throughout this process. You have each helped to protect King Eddie's Park for the people of Wembley and Brent.

We are all appreciative of the support of our Preston and Wembley Central Ward Councillors: Cllrs Matthew Bradley, Patricia Harrison, Jean Hossain, Krupa Sheth, Sam Stopp and Wilhelmina Mitchell-Murray.

We will continue to work in partnership with our ward councillors.

We love King Edward VII Park and the community has shown us that they too love their local park.

We are seeking permission from Brent Council to lease the Bowls Pavilion and both Bowls Greens to us.

We will do our best to make a reality of our vision of a Community Asset, and Wembley Bowls Club, that Wembley and Brent can be proud of.

Thank you too Wembley Matters Readers.


Friends of King Eddie's said...

Special thanks to Jaine Lunn for her continued team effort spending much time researching the Fields in Trust Award, Brent Bowls Clubs and alternative sites (such as Dennis Jackson & Ark Elvin Academy) amongst other things.

Also, huge thanks to Bernie Driscoll for researching Fields in Trust too, emailing Stonebridge Ward Cllrs and Dawn Butler, amongst other things.

Huge thanks to Cllrs Sam Stopp, Jean Hossain & Wilhelmina Mitchell-Murray for speaking at planning committee in support of Preston and Wembley Central Ward Residents - also for giving such comprehensive speeches.

Thanks to Stonebridge Ward Cllr Ernest Ezeajughi for signing our petition

Thanks to Cllr Helen Carr for forwarding our email on to relevant Lib Dem Cllrs.

Thanks to Martin Francis for publishing guest blogs, retweeting tweets and knowing the answers to a lot of Qs (often inconveniently timed ones too)

Denise Cheong on behalf of Friends of King Eddie's Park

Friends of King Eddie's said...

Also, thanks to Paul Lorber for writing to Brent Council in support of our campaign.

Plus thanks to the following local businesses for displaying our "Help! Protect Our Local Park" campaign poster:
- Barham Park Volunteer Library, High Rd Wembley
- Daniels Estate Agent, High Rd Wembley
- Ellis & Co, Ealing Rd Wembley
- Immaculate Afro Hair & Beauty Salon, Wembley Hill Rd
- Unit on the Corner of High Rd and Park Lane
- Wilkinsons (who have displayed it in their staff room & permitted me to write a handwritten note on their "A Good Neighbour" Community Noticeboard)

Denise Cheong on behalf of Friends of King Eddie's Park

Friends of King Eddie's said...

Along with, massive thanks to Tanya for suggesting and joining me for a walk in King Eddie's Park to speak with the park walkers group (on what was a very cold drizzly winter's day)

Likewise, big thanks to Andy & Alison for equally braving the wind & cold to help tie up the laminated "SAVE OUR PARK" lettering.

Huge thanks to Eileen, Victoria and Emily for helping design and print hundreds of posters. Plus helping to distribute them to properties in Wembley. Thanks Sarah too for helping me with distribution.

Thanks again to Paolo - for sending an email to our MP Barry Gardiner.

Thanks Debs for the strategically timed pep talks & help with distribution.

Thanks Ruben, G, K & K for the pep talks too & suggesting

Thanks Colleen, Rashid & Sami.

Thanks to both the Chair and President, South Meadows Residents Association

Elo of Park Lane Methodist Church.

Thanks Robin Sivapalan, Unite Campaigner

Very big thanks to Ron Ferrari (Chair) former Wembley Bowls Club

Thanks to the following people & organisations:
- Dave Morris (Chair) London Green Spaces Friends Groups Network - for knowing the answers to lots of Qs
- Andy Sutch (Chair) London Federation of Sport and Recreation - for signing our online petition

- Keith, Hitesh, Purnima, Khadija, Tyrell, Chani & Jeremy of Wembley Crime Prevention

- Alison @ Fields in Trust
- Ellen @ Open Space Society
- Jack @ The Woodland Trust
- Rachel @ Trees for Cities

Friends of King Eddie's said...

Denise Cheong on behalf of Friends of King Eddie's Park

Anonymous said...

What about me? I read your blog.

Friends of King Eddie's said...

Anonymous you are included in "Thank you too Wembley Matters Readers."
Thanks very much.