|From the planning application|
Residents have been up in arms about what they see as a 'land grab' of the school playing fields to which they have had access for decades. The issue has been covered on Wembley Matters in the past LINK and there is an update on the Kilburn Times website LINK
Local resident Chetan Patel is claiming that the plans are a breach of the 'Public Right of Way':
Residents appealed to Muhammed Butt, Brent Council leader when he visited the site on Saturday. However Butt is both a member of the governing body of Ark Elvin (representing the local authority), which put the proposal forward and a member of the Cabinet who gave the nod to the plans.With respect to planning application (ref 13/3161) for the redevelopment of ARK Elvin Academy formally known as Copland, I believe the proposal breaches the community's 'Public Right Of Way' to access the park in accordance to Highways Act 1980 Section 130A.The proposed re-development removes all general public access to the park. The community has had access to the entire park without any objections from ARK or from the previous management of Copland Community School for many decades now. The Planning Application removes this general public access to the park.The school have claimed anyone entering the park are trespassers, and the public don't have authorised access to park. However, the law assumes that if the public use a path/park without interference for some period of time set by statute at 20 years, then the owner (London Borough of Brent) had intended to dedicate it as a right of way. Therefore it is a 'Public Right of Way' by way of 'easement by prescription'.
The Planning Committee is statutorily independent of the Council and under Sarah Marquis' has shown some independence.
The issue does of course raise the much wider issue of the handing over of public assets to academy chains.
At the same meeting the planning application for the Kensal Rise Library building is also under consideration. LINK