Thursday 22 October 2015

Reasons to vote aganst Ark Elvin Planning Application

These are Chetan Patel's notes for his speech at Brent Planning Committee tonight.
I kindly ask the Planning Committee to vote against the ARK’s submitted planning due to the below listed reasons:

1)    Proposed ‘Yellow Lines’ on Jesmond Avenue Without Consultations

Materials changes in Construction Methodology Access Statement, which did not feature the proposed of ‘Yellow Line’ controlled parking on Jesmond Avenue. Kiers have failed to consultant the residents of Jesmond Avenue on this key issue, which I believe is a ‘Material Change’, which displaces and affects approximate 80% the local residents parking.

2)    Lack of Staff Car Parking Spaces

The development only accommodates 47nr spaces and is derived from an survey of 100/111 staff which finds there are 24 cars parked at the existing school. I know as a matter of fact there are more than 24 cars parked at the school at present. The survey result conflicts with the actual number of cars parked. The Transport Assessment report should have physically counted the cars parked on the school for an accurate representation of the facts, rather than relying on an incomplete staff survey. I would also question if the cleaning, catering and maintenance staff were included in the survey?
Our fear is that the parking allocation will not meet the real world demand created by the development as suggested above.
There is a risk staff will park in the neighbouring residential streets causing further social problems.
In my opinion parts of Transport Assessment report as aforementioned are fundamentally flawed, and a new accurate report needs to be undertaken.

3)    Inaccurate Design Access Statement

The Design Access Statement doesn’t recognise local community pubic right of way by long usage (or “easement by prescription”).

Many hundreds and if not thousands of individuals in our community have been continually using Copland Park for the aforementioned reasons in excess 20 years. This use has occurred without protest from the property owners. As a result, there is a legal presumption that there is a right of way based on public use of Section 21 of the Highways Action 1980 Act.  This gives the local community pubic right of way by long usage (or “easement by prescription”).
We believed the existing playing fields were public land until we saw sight of the misinformed planning application submitted by ARK.

4)    Construction Methodology Statement

A)     Kier’s have stated ‘A Public Consultation has been held to present and answer any queries local residents and key stakeholders may have regarding the development’. We note Kier have failed to provide reasonable notice period for the Public Consultation. Kier notice of public hearing was posted at our address on the 2nd July and the meeting was held on the 15th July 2015.  I know many of the affected community could not re-schedule their commitments with only 14 days notice. Thankfully I managed to attend the consultation, and was surprised when Kier did not present their Construction Methodology Plans. In fact, Kier didn’t present any documentation related to their ‘Construction Methodology’ nor did they have their Construction Methodology documents to hand to distribute at the meeting. You couldn’t have even noticed Kier where at the Public Consultation. The meeting was more of a design exhibition lead by the Architect. Kier’s merely discussed their plans when asked about the construction methodology. Without any Construction Methodology drawings and distribution of any documentations, it was almost impossible to grasp the proposed site access and logistics. In summary, I would describe Kier’s ‘Public Consultation’ as a poor and a  misinformed event. I strongly recommend Kier should be forced to re-hold the event and provide a reasonable period of a minimum 30 days notice period prior to re-holding this meeting.
B)     Kier have failed to adequately demonstrate how they intend to manage construction personnel parking. Their reports indicate an approximate area of 45m x 20m. How many construction personal cars will this space accommodate? Is this allocated space enough? What happens if construction personal start parking on residential roads? Is parking on the residential road permitted by Kier or by Brent Council? 
C)     Brent should stipulate as an ‘Planning Condition’ Kier need to accommodate all necessary parking facilities within their site boundary, and restrict any of Kier’s staff from using any valuable residential parking spaces.
D)    Jesmond Avenue is a quiet residential cul-de-sac area which already has insufficient road car parking capacity. I would also like to record, residents on Clifton Avenue are already parking on Jesmond Avenue, who then use the various alleyways between the roads to return back to Clifton Road. I fear construction traffic personal parking on the community roads would further complicate and disrupt the community relations in the area.
E)     Kier’s Construction Methodology states ‘all deliveries will be directed to arrive at site by travelling along the North Circular Road, then along the Harrow Road (A404) then into Jesmond Avenue. We have reviewed the different site access options with LB Brent Highways Dept and Jesmond Avenue is the preferred option because it provides the safest and shortest route between the A404 and the site’.

We would highlight to Kier their conclusion that Jesmond Avenue is the shortest route from the A404 and proposed site is incorrect.  (See Appendix B attached Map). 

Option 1: 90m using Cecil Avenue.
Option 2: 278m using Jesmond Venue
Option 3: 424m using London Road via Cecil Avenue.

I would also question how Kier have concluded Jesmond Avenue is the safest route. I believe the below listed risks affecting Jesmond Aveue has not been addressed by Kier.
·                     Jesmond Avenue is a strictly cul-de-sac residential area where up to 8-10 children regularly play on the road after school hours, especially between Stanley Road and the end of Jesmond Avenue. When driving my car down Jesmond Avenue on a number occasions I have been forced to apply my breaks in an emergency to avoid an accident with the kids playing on the road. I fear heavy goods vehicles will not be able stop in time in such emergency situations. How have Kier managed this risk?
·     Cars are parked on both sides of Jesmond Avenue, thus reducing the road traffic to only one narrow lane, whilst still accommodating two way traffic. In my opinion using Jesmond Avenue to access construction traffic particularly heavy goods vehicles is dangerous and an accident waiting to happen.
·     With respect to the safest route, when using Jesmond Avenue construction traffic passes 79nr residential properties, where if Cecil Avenue was adopted construction traffic passes only 3nr residential properties, and makes Cecil the safest route.
·     With respect to safest route, Jesmond Avenue has cars are parked on both sides of the road, thus reducing the width of the road to a single narrow lane. However, Cecil Avenue has cars parked on only side, and the other side is protected by double yellow lines preventing cars parking on one side. Therefore, Cecil Avenue a has greater clear width to accommodate heavy duty construction traffic than Jesmond Avenue.

Under the CDM Regulations, I believe Kier have failed to competently demonstrate Jesmond Avenue is the safest Construction Access Road for the development. 

5)    Safeguarding Risk

I’m horrified and deeply concerned Kier have not elected to perform Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) checks on all construction personal. The proposed works is surrounded by vulnerable children and young adults from Copland School High School, Elsely and St Josephs Primary School’s. Kier have a duty of care to ensure all personal working near and in the vicinity are screened to ensure illegible personal are not permitted to work on the construction works. This is even more prevalent as the construction industry is very fragmented using large numbers of self employed personal, appointed by specialist Sub-Contractors. It’s likely, Kier would only appoint Sub-Contractors and thus would not have a direct relationship with the operatives.   In my opinion, if Kier’s do not perform these high sensitive checks, they are not fit to undertake the construction works. CRB checks is standard practise on school works used by other top Main Contractors in the industry.


Jaine Lunn said...

Thank you Martin for pointing out Kiers serious flaws in conducting a proper public consultation, and quite rightly I do hope all their contractors are subject to CBR and DBS requirements as standard practice.
Interestingly now it has been confirmed that this was and still remains public land which will be leased to Ark Elvin Academy.

The following is quoted from Images of London Wembley Edition compiled by Geoffrey Hewlett former Planning Officer of Brent Council.

Wembley House back in 1900 stood on the land that was called Copland School now Ark Elvin Academy. the estate included 27 acres run as a dairy farm. Occupied in the 1870s by John Wooley, a City stockbroker who's family were solicitors and land agents. He was succeeded by Colonel Topham who proposed the redevelopment of the site prior to the First World War. The house survived the residential development in the locality of the estate of J.C. Issacs by being converted to a Boys and Girls school in 1915. Wembley Hill School was the new County Council School built next to Wembley House the school was demolished by a flying bomb during the war, was acquired by Middlesex County Council for EDUCATIONAL purposes in 1936 and it's site along with Wembley House was redeveloped as a large Secondary School and opened as Copland School in 1952.

The Public Right of Way and Footpath has existed since 1894.

It would be fantastic if Ark Elvin Academy, Kier and Brent Council respect the covenants and whilst building a school for the future retain the land adjacent to Wembley High Road as a land swap and keep it green as Cllr Maurice suggested, after all where are all the new Young residents of all the Flats/Apartments being built in Wembley Central Ward going to play? not in any open green space anytime soon as the current developments have no green amenity space attached, just tiny balconies for a window box.

Nan Tewari said...

As I understand it, there is no real need for green bits on the school development because a substantial proportion of Copland pupils come in from Stonebridge - that haven of wide open, green spaces and wonderful adventure playgrounds...........

I notice this Ark outfit can't even be bothered to acknowledge local history by retaining the Copland name, local philanthropic ladies who contributed to local healthcare (Wembley Hospital) amongst other things. So why expect them to to be bothered about the minor matter of a public right of way?