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.'
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