Monday 17 September 2018

Is Northwick Park open space safe? Cllr McLennan's response

This is the written reply to Gaynor Lloyd's question regarding the futire of open space in Northwick Park in the light of the One Public Estate Plans for redevelopment. She is allowed a supplementary question if she attends tonight's Council Meeeting. The meeting can be viewed on-line live HERE (if the broadcast does not go wrong again). Towards the end of the meeting there is a potentially controversial (and poorly formulated) motion reaffirming Brent Council support for the IHRA definition of anti-semitism which doesn't actually mention adopting the examples.

Question from Mrs Elizabeth Gaynor Lloyd to Cllr Margaret McLennan, Deputy Leader of the Council:
In the light of (1) the change in Cabinet member responsibility since the assurance given by Councillor Tatler at the Cabinet meeting in August that the Metropolitan Open Land/ open space at Northwick Park was safe, and (2) her comments to the Harrow Times that all proposals will be made in consultation with residents which is scheduled for the coming months, and (3) the fact that a Transport Viability study was carried out almost a year ago indicating the possibility of an access road through the Ducker pool area or the golf course or the Fairway (all of which would involve a road across Metropolitan Open Land), can the Cabinet Member now vested with responsibility for this project please either confirm that these access road proposals have been abandoned or, if not, please publish a simple indication of the rough alternative routes for the access road to the Northwick Park Regeneration area proposed?
If the open space is safe, can the Cabinet member also confirm that there will be no development on the SINC Grade 1 Northwick park & the Ducker Pool B103 area and open space protected under CP18, and that these areas will be fully protected so that their value is not prejudiced by the adjoining/nearby development?
Peter Brett Associates (transport and infrastructure consultants) have been engaged by the four landowners under the One Public Estate Initiative to work alongside other consultants, to assess the transportation issues that affect the Northwick Park site and its surroundings.
Part of this study included access to the site. A number of options were considered by Peter Brett, with advantages and disadvantages of each given careful consideration. The format and details of future public consultation has yet to be agreed, but this is likely to include access options for discussion and feedback.
The February 2018 Cabinet paper, updating members of progress at Northwick Park, confirms current proposals consider a possible “land swap” of Metropolitan Open Space, subject to the necessary consents. In broad terms this would involve swapping the area currently occupied by the sports pavilion and car park, with an equivalent area immediately to the south of Northwick Park station.
(Para 4.7 Appendix One of February 2018 cabinet report):
“.... include the smaller MOL swap involving the existing pavilion area and the area immediately to the south of Northwick Park station.”
This too would form part of any public consultation.
Mrs Lloyd may be reassured by para 3.2 and 3.3 of the same report, which stated:
3.2 All of the Council freehold ownership, and the Ducker Pond, is designated as Metropolitan Open Land (‘MOL’). This effectively affords it the same planning status as Green Belt, where development for uses other than those deemed appropriate for the Green Belt will be refused unless there are exceptional circumstances. The same land area is also designated as local open space.
3.3 The Ducker Pond area is designated as a Site of Importance for Nature Conservation Grade I, being of high biodiversity value. This designation extends to part of the Playgolf site, particularly the hedged area at the boundary. Part of the site also forms a section of the Capital Ring public walkway. Policy seeks to preserve and enhance the habitats in these areas.

Full Council – 17 September 2018 Motion selected by the Conservative Group

With anti-Semitic hate crimes rising across London and the United Kingdom – this Council expresses that it is appalled at the increase in anti-Semitic Hate Crimes, and reiterates its support for the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance definition of anti-Semitism.

This Council is shocked at the recent spate of anti-Semitic posters that have been going up across TfL run bus stops, and it is further shocked at the recent comments by those who have described the recent condemnation of anti-Semitic language and behaviour as a ‘Zionist’ movement – using anti-Semitic language and imagery in campaigning and online, further enflaming anti-Semitic hatred across the Borough.

This Council will immediately adopt, into its councillor and public workers code of conduct, the full and complete IHRA definition of anti-Semitism, and implement policies to ensure that hate crimes against Jewish people are acted upon quickly and decisively.

Councillor Michael Maurice Kenton Ward


Anonymous said...

It seems reasonable to intensify use of the land around the tube station, as long as other land, further away, provides an adequate green replacement.

Anonymous said...

How can a car park and a pavilion building be classified as an "adequate green replacement" when used as a land swap. It is my understanding that the car park and pavilion is MOL area already and part of that overall designated area. Furthermore, the car park already forms part of Brent Council's solution for the Byron Court Primary School Travel Plan as required by Planning. How many times can Brent use a section of MOL as a solution to their inappropriate development proposals. I do recall Margaret McLennan categorically stating that they are not proposing any developments on the Northwick Park open areas. As usual, say one thing and really mean the opposite. It's no surprise that Ms. Lloyd had so much difficulty optaining her information and needed to go down the Freedom of Information path to obtain answers to her questions.

Philip Grant said...

This is a repeat of a comment I made on a blog about the August Cabinet meeting, but relevant here as well:-

Gaynor Lloyd tried to get more information through a question, and supplementary question, at the Full Council meeting (see Northwick Park blog articles on 17 and 18 September 2018).

In response, Cllr. McLellan, (who now appears to be the Lead Member dealing with this "regeneration programme", and not the Lead Member for Regeneration) promised that there would be consultation before any decisions are made.

But the key decisions HAVE ALREADY been made, behind closed doors and without the local residents being consulted at all! What kind of democracy is Brent Council (which used to claim, and possibly still claims, to be "open and accountable") operating under?