Tuesday 13 June 2023

Barry Gardiner opposed Barham Park development in 2021 so why silent in 2023?


I am grateful to a Wembley Matters reader for the link he sent to a letter  from Barry Gardiner opposing one of the proposed planning applications for the site in Barham Park, The letter was sent to Gerry Ansell, Brent Council's Head of Planning in May 2021 LINK.

Although the specific application was different (larger and higher) to that approved yesterday, most of the  arguments used still apply. I draw attention to the last line of the letter: 'I would ask that the application be rejected and the use of the land be returned to the people of Wembley in deference to the principle of Titus Barham's bequest.'

The letter:

Planning Application 21/1106  776 and 778 Harrow Road.

I am writing to express my strong personal objection to Planning Application 21/1106 which concerns the former park keepers' houses in Barham Park. I understand that the applicant is seeking to demolish these houses and erect a four storey residential building comprising 9 self-contained flats with roof top terrace and associated access, parking and landscaping.

I originally objected to the sale of the properties in 2010 and I was advised the following year that they were to be leased to a housing association for reuse by families on the Council's housing register. I was therefore appalled when, contrary to assurances, it became apparent that the sale had gone ahead in 2012.

I then objected to Planning  Application 14/2078 in 2014 arguing that the Housing was only ever appropriate on this land as it was built as tied accommodation for the park wardens and it would be totally wrong if the site were to undergo extensive redevelopment, I was therefore pleased when planning permission for application 14/2708* was rejected.

Having seen the proposed plans for this current proposed application, my strong objections to the redevelopment of this site remain. I am very concerned by the height of the new proposed development, which is one-storey higher than the proposals in 2014. I also fear that the inclusion of a roof top terrace on a building within a park, may lead to visitors of the park feeling uncomfortable and overlooked.

Barham Park is extremely important within the local community and has a specific historial significance which appears to be lost on the developer. Barham Park is also home to the war memorial where every year services are held and wreaths laid to remember those who, at their country's call, left all that was dear to them to hazard their lives in the cause of freedom. For all these reasons the Park should be regarded as a special place within the Borough and should be protected from this development.

While I appreciate that it was a council of a different political complexion which originally sold off the existing properties in the Park, the current Council should not allow that negative event to set a precedent for further despoilation. The existing houses and their gardens are within the Barham Park Estate and the Planning Committee are fully aware that this was bequeathed to the people of Wembley in 1937 for their use and enjoyment in perpetuity,

I would ask that the application be rejected and the use of the land be returned to the people of Wembley in deference to the principle of Titus Barham's bequest.


*discrepancy in the application reference numbers is in the original letter


Anonymous said...

He's probably planning his retirement far away from Brent, somewhere with lots of green lovely spaces and no tower blocks?

Anonymous said...

Still no comment from Mr Gardiner - let's all remember this when it comes to the next election and vote him out!

It's clear that Labour don't care about local residents - this planning application should have been refused and Mr Gardiner should have objected to it!

Anonymous said...

On 5th June 2023 Barry Gardiner tweets about wildlife populations in decline: https://twitter.com/BarryGardiner/status/1665699349098119168?cxt=HHwWgIC-2fKu4J0uAAAA

Yet he doesn't object to the development in Barham Park which will hugely impact on wildlife in our vital green open space during noisy construction works with tonnes of concrete being brought to and from the site. The mass of the 4 new houses will be taller and wider than the 2 existing old park keepers cottages taking up more ground in their foundations potentially adding to extra flooding in the park. There will also be exta light pollution from all the extra windows overlooking the park and any extra external lights.

In 2010 Barry Gardiner fought against the sale of the 2 old park keepers cottages and has been objecting against development of the site ever since - why exactly is he silent now???