|Rob Davies did not receive notification that his request had been granted. The Chair refused a substitute from the same residents' association|
Despite some excellent well-researched speeches by supporters of local umbrella group 'Wembley Champions', Barn Hill Residents' Association and Wembley High Road Traders' Association, Brent Planning Committee tonight approved Wembley Stadium/Spurs planning application for 22 additional full capacity (91,000) events per year with only one councillor voting against.
Earlier it had looked more evenly balanced when councillors asked some searching questions about the application and mitigation measures with Wembley Stadium often floundering in response. Councillors appeared to be very doubtful of the benefits for local people and concerned about a capacity increase of some 60,000 spectators and the subsequent impact on traffic, train and bus over-crowding, littering and anti-social behaviour.
However after another confusion over whether the Committee could defer the decision, with the wrong legal advice being given at first to say they couldn't, there was a short break. After the break they were informed that they could defer after all (this after a member of the public showed them a copy of the law), but no councillor moved a motion to do so and a straight vote was taken for or against the officer's recommendation of approval.
Cllrs J Mitchell-Murray, Moher, Maurice, Long, Kabir and Agha all voted for the increase in the number of events and increased capacity despite all their early scepticism. Outgoing Kilburn councillor Cllr Pitruzzella, who had asked some challenging questions of the stadium team, was the only one to vote against. She will be a great loss to honest Brent politics.
Unusually written statements were read out from Cllr Muhammed Butt (he'd decided not to attend the meeting) and Cllr Ketan Sheth. Butt claimed that on balance the application would be good for local people.
Usually when non-committee councillors make representations, as was the case with Cllr Stopp and Cllr Choudhary, they are asked to declare any interest and reveal any approaches that have been made to them - this was not the case with the written statements.