The application by property developer and funfair owner George Irvin to build four 3 storey houses in Barham Park comes to Brent Planning Committee this evening. There are fears that if this application is approved (and planning officers recommend approval) that it will set a precedent for building on other Brent green spaces where there are existing buildings.
As documented by Wembley Matters the application has been surrounded by controversy:
- The failure of Trustees of the Barham Park Trust Committee to make any comment or act on the restricted covenant on the site
- Failure of the Trustees/Council to secure a professional valuation of the covenant
- The make-up of the Trust Committee chaired by Muhammed Butt leader of the Council and consisting of members of his Cabinet with no other representation
- Irvin's offer of free tickets to his funfair to councillors. Rita Begum, a member of the Planning Committee took advantage of this
- Long-standing concerns about the make-up of the Planning Committee that is alleged to include Muhammed Butt's brother Cllr Saqib Butt and his brother-in-law Cllr Ajmal Akram. The Chair is the partner of the Deputy Leader of the Council.
- The failure of planning offices to answer an allegation of misrepresentation of planning guidance made by Philip Grant LINK
- Misleading information in the notification of the meeting to residents which said that attendance was restricted to on-line. Though corrected that was later repeated on the council's website
- The publication of the Supplementary Report on the application after 5pm on Friday giving no time for new requests to speak at tonight's meeting
- The failure of North Brent MP, Barry Gardiner, to intervene despite making defence of Barham Park a major local issue in the 2010 General and local election.
The Planning Committeee Meeting is in the Conference Hall at Brent Civic Centre at 6pm or you can attend online HERE.
There are several remarks on the planning portal regarding the difficulties many residents have had downloading documents and being timed out. Clearly accessibility is central to proper democratic participation. Not helped today by this announcement: