Letter published with permission
Dear Councillor Kelcher,
I am writing on behalf of the Barham family to object to the building of even more houses within Barham Park.
As you will know Barham Park was the family home of the Barham family from around 1895 to 1937. From 1913 it was the home of Titus Barham and his wife Florence who spent a great deal of time and money to plant and improve the gardens. While it was a gated and fenced private home and gardens Titus would open it to the public on a regular basis. As supporters and founders of the then recently built Wembley Hospital, Titus and Florence held many fundraising events in their home and gardens.
As you will also know Titus and his wife were major benefactors, supporting many worthwhile causes in Wembley and Sudbury. In recognition of this Titus was selected to become the Charter Mayor of the newly formed Wembley Borough Council. Sadly he died on the very day the Charter was to come into effect.
Prior to his death in 1937 Titus had arranged to gift his home and gardens expressly “for the enjoyment of local people” . This gift became Barham Park.
As you will also know this charitable endowment placed responsibility on Wembley, and later Brent Councils, to manage and look after the Park in the best interests of local people.
The two houses in the Park close to the railway were built specifically to house Parks Department workers who helped to maintain and look after the Park. The building of those two houses, although maybe questionable at the time, could be justified because of the link with the Park and it’s purpose. No such link exists now and will not certainly exist if and when the two houses are replaced by the proposed 4 taller buildings whose sole purpose is not to house Parks Department workers working in Barham Park, but simply to generate a rental income for their owners.
I also understand that the Council has had a long-standing policy of protecting Parks from intrusive development. While the original building of the two houses may have been questionable the proposed building of 4 larger and taller houses is an affront to the wishes of Titus Barham.
As Councillors, you and members of the Planning Committee reflect on the action of one of your predecessors, namely Titus who was a Wembley Councillor for 4 years, and continue to respect and protect his generosity specifically for the enjoyment of local people.
On behalf of the Barham family I would therefore urge you and your Council colleagues to REJECT the latest Planning Application and to uphold Titus Barham’s express wish that his gardens should be used for the enjoyment of local people and nothing else.
Please present my appeal as outlined in this message to all Councillors in Brent and especially to the members of the Brent Planning Committee.
On behalf of the Barham family