Monday 25 April 2016

Further concern that Brent Planning Department is not fit for purpose

Further to the concerns expressed by the Queen's Park Area Residents Association about the efficient running of Brent Council's Planning Department LINK in the wake of the departure of Andy Bates and Stephen Weeks, residents in Roe Green are also feeling frustrated as they challenge Powerleague Lucuzade's bid to build a facility on Kingsbury High School playing fields. LINK

Residents last Wednesday sent a 40 page document over apparent 'errors and omissions' in the Powerleague planning application to the Planning Department asking for urgent clarification. No response so far and the statutory consultation period is due to end on April 28th.

The planning office for the application is on leave until early May which makes it unlikely that the 501 consultees will get a considered response.

A further issue is that residents complain that their comments are not being registered on the Department's Planning Portal, even when they get over the initial hurdle of the website stating, 'Comments may not be submitted at this time.'   Email request for this to be removed have been ignored.

Those who did manage have received messages that their comments have been cut sort or timed out. A resident following up the problem was told that officers may not read comments thought to be too long.

It is alleged that residents telephoning Brent Council about the application have been discouraged from making a comment on the basis that the schools needs the money and therefore the application will probably go through.

Residents are also concerned that the Statutory Notice of 19th April  may be invalid as it was signed off by Stephen Weeks who left the Council some time ago.

Meanwhile Cllr Sam Stopp has met with residents over the 'Twin Towers' proposal for Wembley central that was approved by the Planning Committee.

Stopp told the Kilburn Times:
The Council not for the first time, didn't proactively engage the local community and a lot of residents living near the site came through with concerns that they weren't aware of this application.

There was a general sense that things were being decided behind closed doors rather than in an open way.

There are questions to be made about who is making decisions about which planning application goes ahead. What causes the the decision made at planning to be made? Is it just on the merits of the scheme or are there political angles there as well?

That's something I'm investigating more.
He took to Twitter after his surgery discussion with residents to say he had formally requested a  town hall-style meeting on the 'Twin Towers' issue.


Anonymous said...

It seems to me that there are huge issues around the Planning Department in Brent. The same problems highlighted in the article were experienced by residents and parents when opposing Byron Court Primary School expansion and Wembley High Technology Primary School build. Both of which approved in spite of massive opposition. To paraphrase Shakespeare.......there is something rotten in the Brent Planning Department and Council.

Anonymous said...

James who?