Monday 5 June 2023

Brent letter restricting attendance at Barham Park development hearing was a mistake - you CAN attend in-person


The proposed development in Barham Park


Opposition councillor Paul Lorber has received a response confirming that the Council made another mistake (the first was failure to consult everyone affected) in their letter apparently restricting public attendance at the June 12th Planning Committee. It was 'old wording'.

The Committee are due to consider George Irvin's application to build 4 three storey houses in Barham Park on a site currently occupied by a pair of two storey houses.

New letters are being sent advising that there are no restrictions and people can attend in-person or on-line and that the meeting is going ahead on Monday 12th June  at 6pm as planned.
The meeting is particularly crucial because it could set a precedent for application for other parks and green spaces where there are existing buildings.
To address the committee you must notify Executive and Member Services by 5 pm on the working day before the committee meeting. Please email or telephone the Executive and Member Services Officer, Mrs Dev Bhanji, on 07786 681276 during office hours. 


Anonymous said...

A very convenient 'mistake' to put people off attending this important planning meeting.

Just like their 'mistake' not putting up planning notices in January so that us residents knew nothing about it - luckily we eventually heard about it through Wembley Matters!

And just like their 'mistake' not contacting those who objected to the previous application despite Carolyn Downs Chief Executive at Brent Council promising they would do so?

Luckily we have those who will challenge things so that everyone knows how Brent Council are trying to con us!

The whole process of how this planning application has been handled needs full investigation - us residents deserve full transparency and our green spaces deserve protection.

What about the charity commission? Can they not investigate how Brent Council are running the Barham Park Trust and the very apparent conflicts of interest???

Philip Grant said...

I was one of the objectors who received the "mistake" letter about the Planning Committee meeting next Monday, but there is another "mistake" in the actual Report by Planning Officers, on which the Committee's decision will be made on this controversial application.

It is a crucial "mistake", which if not corrected would justify the approval of the plans.

I have just submitted a comment, challenging the Committee Report treatment of the key policy BP1, and will post the full text of my comment here, for public information (using extra comments,if necessary):-

This is an objection to a misrepresentation made in the Committee Report by Planning Officers to the Planning Committee meeting on 12 June 2023.

A Supplementary Report to the meeting should be prepared, setting out IN FULL the grounds for this objection, and the Officer response to it.

The heading of the Report states that the Planning Area for application 22/4128 is “Sudbury Town Neighbourhood Forum”. The misrepresentation occurs over the Sudbury Town Neighbourhood Plan, referred to in paragraphs 11 and 13 of the Committee Report.

Paragraph 11 correctly states that: ‘It is set out within Neighbourhood Plan policy BP1 (Barham Park) that any proposals for the re-use or redevelopment of park buildings for residential use (Use Class C3) will not be supported.’

That should be the conclusion of the matter, with a recommendation that application 22/4128 should be refused, because the application proposes the redevelopment of park buildings, increasing their size, height and number of dwellings for residential use.

However, paragraph 13 seeks to turn the clear policy position over the Sudbury Town Neighbourhood Plan (as set out in paragraph 11) on its head!

It begins the attempt to do this by saying that: ‘Neighbourhood Plan Policies LGS1, LGS2 and BP1 ARE RELEVANT to the proposal ….’ (note: my capital letters, for emphasis). Those policies are more than just relevant. They are what should decide the matter, for the reason I will explain at the end of this objection comment.

Paragraph 13 goes on to say: ‘… the proposal is not considered to result in the redevelopment of park buildings.’ However, at the top of the Officer Report “The Proposal” is described as: ‘Demolition of 2 existing dwellings and construction of 4x new three storey dwellinghouses.’

The definition of “redevelopment” in ordinary English usage is: ‘the action or process of developing something again or differently.’ The proposal should clearly be considered as a redevelopment of park buildings, and the Officer Report has misdirected the Committee on that point.

[Continued in a second comment]

Philip Grant said...

This is the second part of my objection comment:

Following on from this misdirection, paragraph 13 states: ‘The proposal is considered to accord with policies LGS1, LGS2 and BP1.’ The proposal DOES NOT accord with those policies, because those policies in the Sudbury Town Neighbourhood Plan, specifically policy BP1 relating to Barham Park, state:

‘Proposals for the re-use of the existing Barham Park buildings to provide a new community facility (D1 or D2 Use) or any other use that would support and complement the function of the park will be supported. Any proposals for the re-use or redevelopment of park buildings for residential use (Use Class C3) WILL NOT BE SUPPORTED.’

Paragraph 13 concludes by trying to counter the point I have just made: ‘if one contended that Policy BP1 relates to all buildings within the area designated Local Green Space as opposed to all buildings within the park itself, it is noted that the fall-back position for the applicant would be the continued use of the houses and their curtilages for their current lawful use, for purposes within Use Class C3.’

Yes, the applicant can continue to use the two existing houses in the park, built originally as homes for park-keepers, but no longer required for that purpose, for their current Class C3 use.

But that does not entitle the applicant to demolish those two houses and redevelop the site for four new houses. To do that would require planning consent, which is what application 22/4128 is seeking to achieve. However, policy BP1 clearly states that such a proposal ‘will not be supported’. It should not have been supported, and recommended for approval, by Planning Officers, and it should not be approved by Brent’s Planning Committee.

The Sudbury Town Neighbourhood Plan was adopted by Brent Council in 2015, and forms an integral part of Brent’s current Local Plan. When the idea of neighbourhood plans was put forward in the original version of the National Planning Policy Framework (“NPPF”), this stated:

‘Local communities through local and neighbourhood plans should be able to identify for special protection green areas of particular importance to them. By designating land as Local Green Space local communities will be able to rule out new development other than in very special circumstances.’

There are no ‘very special circumstances’ which would support the proposed development in application 22/4128.

The most recent version of the NPPF (July 2021) states in paragraph 30:
‘Once a neighbourhood plan has been brought into force, the policies it contains take precedence over existing non-strategic policies in a local plan covering the neighbourhood area, where they are in conflict; unless they are superseded by strategic or non-strategic policies that are adopted subsequently.’

There is no evidence that policy BP1 in the Sudbury Town Neighbourhood Plan has been superseded by policies adopted subsequently. Therefore, policy BP1 takes precedence over any other Local Plan policies covering the neighbourhood area of which Barham Park forms a part. As a result, application 22/4128 MUST be refused.

Anonymous said...

Can someone please explain the conflicts of interest point. What is the issue about the claim that George Irwin attended Cllr Butt’s family wedding and who does this impact on? Thanks.

Anonymous said...

See here news report about the actions of another Council Leader trying to get an advantage for his friend, it shows that a Council Leader being close mates with a developer clearly does matter...

"The scathing report revealed how he (Mr Smith) had jetted off to a developer’s villa in Barbados three times, insisting he paid £8,500 for his family to use it.

Bernard Litman, who owns the villa, then submitted a planning application for 15 flats on Canvey High Street.

Fearing the plans would be rejected, Mr Smith requested for a Government inspector to further inspect the plans.

The former leader was found to have “attempted to secure an advantage for his friend.”

We all know that Cllr Mo Butt will tell all his relatives and his allies at Brent Council to vote in favour of this development.

We need proper scrutiny and we need a committed investigative journalist looking into all of this.

Anonymous said...

Just think about it and you will surely conclude that this is not right in terms of the planning application!