Saturday, 22 April 2017

Residents' views on Wembley Stadium events & capacity increase now on record

Wembley Matters drew attention recently to the fact that the Minutes for the March 23rd Planning Committee failed to record the content of residents' representations against Wembley Stadium's application to increase the number of full capacity events at the stadium. See Residents' views absent from offical record of Wembley Stadium Planning Committee meeting

This omission has now been rectified. This is an extract from the re-written minutes:
Dr Ruth Kosmin spoke on behalf of Barnhill Residents’ Association (BHRA) objecting to the proposal, including on the grounds that the cost benefit analysis submitted was inadequate and should not be taken into account. 

Dr Michael Calderbank objected to the proposal on behalf of Wembley Park Residents’ Association, including on the grounds that it is unnecessary and inappropriate to amend the current cap, impact on amenity of residents because of anti-social behaviour, and insufficient mitigation measures. 

Denise Cheong representing Wembley Champions spoke in objection to the proposal, including on the grounds of failure to meet obligations under the current condition in terms of infrastructure provision, impact of full event days on existing road and public transport network, strain on local businesses and residents, all leading to detrimental impact on quality of life.
D Bablas on behalf of Wembley High Road Businesses Association spoke in objection to the proposal, including on the grounds of impact on some of the businesses as leisure time shoppers are deterred from coming to the High Rd; parking problems exacerbated on event days; impact of additional people on quality of High Street environment. 

Fatema-Karim Khaku representing BHRA also spoke in objection to the proposal, including on these grounds: submitted transport study was inadequate; there was a lack of empirical evidence and robust analysis; failure to properly consider impact on the tube network; overall, unacceptable impact on the transport infrastructure. 

In accordance with the provisions of the Planning Code of Practice, Councillor Choudhary, ward member, stated that he had been approached by members of BHRA. Councillor Choudhary objected to the proposal on the grounds that it did not contain adequate information to assess the environmental, transport and business impacts. He added that in addition to increased anti-social behaviour, the proposal would put a strain on the road network in the area. 

In accordance with the provisions of the Planning Code of Practice, Councillor Stopp stated that he had been approached by local residents. Councillor Stopp stated that the potential benefits of the proposal would be outweighed by the costs to the area including fear of anti-social behaviour and increased litter (evidenced by the increase in the caseload from his constituents) and undesirable precedent.
Interestingly the written statements of Cllr Butt and Sheth, read out to the Committee by the head of planning, are still not included.


  1. "Dr" Michael Calderbank?
    Did he buy it from the internet?

  2. Well done Martin, and anyone else involved, for getting the minutes revised to properly record the views expressed at the Planning Committee meeting.

    This is not the first time that people have had to struggle to get minutes changed. I had to do so in June 2015 in respect of a Scrutiny Committee meeting (30 April 2015) where I had been prevented from presenting a Deputation. A blog about getting the minutes amended can be found at:

    The only "victory" in both cases, however, is that anyone who reads the minutes in future will wonder how (and why) the Brent Council committees involved could have made the decisions they did, based on the evidence and arguments before them!


  3. I attended this Planning Meeting and any independent observer who was there for the 3 hours of representations and questioning would have concluded that the Committee was heading to REFUSE the application. Near the end of the debates Officers seemed to suggest that a 'deferral' option was NOT available to the Committee. A few minutes later - when the Committee had reached the point of voting the stand-in Chair of the Planning Committee called for a 5 minute 'comfort break'. This break lasted much more than the 5 minutes and when the Committee Members returned they went to the vote and in complete contrast to their approach when debating and questioning the majority of the Councillors voted to Approve the application. In a bizarre moment while the voting was taking place the sole Conservative Member turned to the Public and shouted something to the effect "I have no choice but to vote in favour to approve the application".

    The interesting question therefore is "what went on behind the scenes while the Councillors went for their comfort break and why did the Conservative Councillor feel obliged to state publicly during the voting that he had no choice? PAUL LORBER

    1. You ask 'what went on behind the scenes ...?'

      I wasn't there, so I do not know; but I will re-post here a comment that was made to me, privately, by a back-bench Brent Labour councillor in January 2017, which may provide a clue:

      'Brent Council has a culture of inappropriate political interference. For example the entire Planning process is utterly compromised: the recent audit shows how weak the administrative systems are - but the political abuse is far, far worse. ... I've seen too much abuse and manipulation over the last few years: it truly is even worse than people realise.'


    2. As a matter of interest for those of us unable to get to the meeting who was the stand in Chair of the Planning Committee?

    3. According to the Council website Cllr Marquis sent apologies and Cllr Daly substituted. Cllr Pitruzzella also sent apologies and Cllr Colacicco substituted. Cllr Aghar was in the chair.

    4. Well if Councillor Aghar was in the chair well...... especially if Butt was elsewhere in the building during the meeting.
      There must be suspicions in many peoples minds.

    5. This is seriously worrying.

    6. How do councillors become to be in positions of vice-chair of committees these days e.g.vice-chair of the planning committee......are they appointed and by whom or are they elected and again by whom?

  4. This message must be heeded.

  5. Well done for your efforts in ensuring that residents' contributions to the meeting were properly included in the minutes, Martin.

    In similar fashion with Brent NHS CCG, patient and public representatives took to drafting formal resolutions to ensure proper recording of the public voice because our views managed to be left out of minutes.

    It takes a great deal of effort to challenge public bodies and I know I am not by any means alone in my appreciation of the work Martin, Philip and other notable individuals do in this regard.