Thursday 14 January 2016

Wembley Lycee swimming pool planning application turned down again

Brent Planning Committee refused planning permission for a swimming pool at the Wembley French School last night.  It had returned to the agenda with a report from officers that continued to recommend the granting of planning permission but gave the committee grounds on which they could refuse the application. LINK

The officer's report also contained warnings about the possibility of an appeal to the Planning Inspectorate.

The Lycee is housed in the former Brent Town Hall building.

The planning application for a mixed redevelopment of the Red House site near Wembley Stadium station also returned to the agenda after the refusal of the planning application. This item was deferred.


Anonymous said...

Why can't Mo Butt control his planning committee?

Martin Francis said...

By law the Planning Committee is independent of the Council. If Muhammed Butt tried to control the Committee he would be acting illegally.

Philip Grant said...

Although I believe that Planning Committee has made a mistake with this particular decision (and one which is likely to be overturned if the Lycee appeals) I am glad that Cllr. Butt is not able to control this committee.

He has far too much power already, particularly through chairing the Council's General Purposes Committee (which is supposed to deal with matters which are not within the remit of the Cabinet, which he also chairs). Through that G.P. Committee, he also chairs the Senior Staff Appointments Sub-Committee, and can put himself in a position to control other appointments (such as recently, with short-listing, interviewing and recommending for appointment by Full Council the people who will act as "Independent Persons" for Standards purposes).

Why should so much power be exercised by one man (even the elected Leader of the Council), when Brent has sixty-two other elected Councillors?


Alison Hopkins said...

Well said Phillip. Do we know who the Independent Persons are? I can take a guess at a couple of them.

Philip Grant said...

Alison - I don't know whether any questioning of the Monitoring Officer at Standards Committee earlier this month confirmed that Brent, in fact, has NO properly appointed "Independent Persons" at the moment. [Brent's website states that there are two, but from my research I don't think there have been any since May 2014.]

The Council are supposed to be advertising this month to seek applicants to be new "Independent Persons", who will in future be involved in considering any complaints of misconduct by Councillors AND by top Council Officers (Head of Paid Service / Chief Executive, Monitoring Officer and Head of Finance).

I hope that they do advertise widely, and encourage suitable people to apply, because the borough certainly needs genuinely independent people in that Standards role. Whether we actually achieve that remains to be seen.