Friday 9 June 2023

Last minute Supplementary Report on Barham Park Planning Application - Brent Planning Officers still recommend approval. Barham family submission disregarded.



A Supplementary Report was published this afternoon by Brent Planning Officers regarding the application by George Irvin to build 4 three storey houses within the park on the site currently occupied by a modest pair of two storey houses. The Planning Committee in at 6pm on Monday June 12th. The public can attend in-person or on-line.

Some of the Supplementary Report is concerned with the actual boundaries of the site followed by a consideration of some of the 'further representations' that have been reported on this website:

 A number of further comments have been received in objection to the proposals since the publication of the committee report including comments from 4 people who commented previously. In total (including previously reported and new objections), 46 residents objected to the proposal in addition to the petition with 160 signatures, the Sudbury Court Residents’ Association, Wembley Central and Alperton Residents’ Association and Cllr Lorber. An objection has now also been received from the Brent Parks Forum. The objections include some issues previously raised and some additional concerns.

The Supplementary Report requires close scrutiny as the wording is often unclear or ambiguous. The officers continue to recommend that the application is approved and state that the covenant on the park is not a material planning consideration. They do not refer to the Barham family's submission. In my view they fail to adequately answer Philip Grant's allegation of misrepresentation of planning policies.

Philip Grant emailed the head of planning this evening having seen the Supplementary Report:

Dear Mr Ansell,

Further to my email to you last Tuesday morning, 6 June, attaching a copy of my objection comment about the Committee Report on the 776 & 778 Harrow Road application, I am frankly disgusted by the response in the Supplementary Report, which has appeared on Brent's website this evening.

This is my further comment on application 22/4128 this evening:

'I have just read the Supplementary Report, published on Brent Council's website this evening.

It is totally unacceptable that the objection comments which I made on 5 June, about the misrepresentation in the Committee Report over the Sudbury Town Neighbourhood Plan policies. should be "dealt with" merely with an Officer Response of:
'This is discussed within paragraphs 5-16 of the main report.'

My comment had explained in detail why paragraph 13, in particular, was incorrect.

If Planning Officers are not prepared, or not able, to explain why Sudbury Town Neighbourhood Plan policies LGS1 & 2 and BP1 should not override the other policies which they rely on to support this application, then the application should not proceed to a decision at the Planning Committee meeting on 12 June.'

Yours sincerely,

Philip Grant.


 This is a link to the 'main report' LINK  A flavour is provided by the extract below which made my head hurt when I tried to grapple with it!

Paragraph 13


Anonymous said...

It is completely unfair that the Brent Council planning officers issued revised documents late on Friday afternoon, the last working day before the planning meeting is due to take place.

The planning decision should NOT now be made on Monday 12th June 2023.

Any decision on this planning application needs to be delayed so that residents can properly study these revised documents and decide whether they now want to comment at the planning meeting.

Philip Grant said...

The Supplementary Report was posted on Brent's website shortly AFTER the 5pm on Friday deadline for notifying the Council if you wished to speak at the meeting at 6pm on Monday.

Anonymous said...

Litany of errors in the way this has been handled or things done deliberately to make sure the application is passed without objectors having a proper say?

Anonymous said...

Hey Phillip, what did you expect when you accused them of misrepresentation???

They wont admit theyre wrong, and wont respond because youre right!!!

Halme said...

This is unacceptable. Why are we selling onen grounds where communities engage to businesses. This is completely wrong. I don’t think Brent should be selling this.

Philip Grant said...

Dear Halme (10 June at 22:36),

Brent Council, which is the Trustee for Titus Barham's gift of his estate through the Barham Park Trust Committee (made up of five Executive / Cabinet members) has already sold off the two disused park keepers houses to a private owner in 2011.

It raised the money to help fund the maintenance of the park, and did use it for that purpose. But it sold the houses with a restrictive covenant, that there would never be more than two houses on the site, which is in, and surrounded by, the public open space of the Barham Park.

Brent's Planning Officers say that the existence of that restrictive covenant is not something which can be taken into account in considering this, or the previous planning applications which the owner (George Irvin, or one of his family companies) has made. The application has to be decided on planning policies.

Unfortunately, Planning Officers are ignoring the importance of the Sudbury Town Neighbourhood Plan policies, which include that Barham Park is a protected Local Green Space, and that no buildings in the park can be redeveloped for housing (and demolishing two houses, and building four new houses on the same site, is surely redevelopment!)

If planning permission is granted for this proposed development, the restrictive covenant would still prevent it taking place. The other fear is that the Barham Park Trust Committee, which is supposed to uphold the wishes of the benefactor who gave the land for the enjoyment and recreation of the people of Wembley, will agree to remove the covenant, presumably in return for a payment.

That would be "selling the family silver", handing a profit-making opportunity to a businessman, at the expense of residents' enjoyment of the park, and against the will of local people.

It would also be against the policies of the Neighbourhood Plan, which the Council encouraged the Sudbury Town Residents' Association to put so much effort into drawing up, and which Brent Council then adopted as part of its Local Plan policies, which its Planning Officers are meant to uphold.

Anonymous said...

Local Labour MP Barry Gardiner fought a very high profile election campaign against the sale of these two houses in 2010 but after the election where Labour took control of the council, the new Labour led council sold off the houses in 2011 in an auction that no local people heard anything about. They were sold to George Irvin who's clearly being guided by the Brent planning department to make all these planning applications.

The last 2 planning applications have been poorly advertised - if we hadn't found out about them they would have been approved by the planning department without question.

Something is very wrong here - Brent Labour should not be playing politics with our vital local green spaces - they should not have sold off the two houses and they should now uphold the restrictive Covenant to prevent any development on the site which lies completely within the much loved Barham Park.

Anonymous said...

Three Labour councillors recently accepted free tickets from George Irvin the developer who wants to redevelop the site of the 2 houses which are completely within Barham Park:

1. Cllr Rita Begum, Labour - who's on the Brent Planning Committee - clear conflict of interests in taking a gift from the developer? We trust Cllr Begum will now object to this development? If she votes in favour or abstains from voting it could be seen as an 'influenced decision'.

2. Cllr Rita Conneely, Labour - Chair of the Resources & Public Realm Scrutiny Committee - surely she'd understand it is not a good idea to accept gifts from a developer? We trust Cllr Conneely will investigate these councillors, including herself, for taking free tickets from a property developer who wants to build in our public park?

3. Cllr Gwen Grahl Labour - Cabinet Member for Children, Young People & Schools - should she be setting a better example?

Anonymous said...

Those are the only three who've admitted to accepting the open offer to Brent councillors of free rides at Irvin's Roe Green Park funfair in April, which they had to contact George Irvin personally to get.

Anonymous said...

And did the also get free tickets for the recent Irvins funfair in Barham Park?

Philip Grant said...

As.councillors have a certain amount of time within which to notify Brent's Monitoring Officer of gifts or hospitality they receive in their capacity as a member of the Council, we won't know the answer to that in time.

However, I did write to the Monitoring Officer to try to ensure that Cllr. Begum is not allowed to take any part in considering or deciding Mr Irvin's application.

I also recommended to her that, in the intetests of good governance, she should ask all membets of the Planning Committee to declsre, at the start of Monday"s meeting, whether they have recived any gifts of tokens this year fot George Irvin's Funfairs at Roe Green, Roundwood or Barham parks, even if they believe the value of the gift to be leds than the £50 limir.

Anonymous said...

All gifts to Councillors should be declared no matter how low in monetary value they are, particularly if they are gifts from developers.

Why is there a 'more than £50' rule for declaring gifts?

Whats to stop a developer giving out several small gifts to each councillor? It would soon add up value wise, it would prove to be a substantial untaxed benefit just for being a Councillor and would surely put their impartiality in question?

During this cost of living crisis the hard working families these Councillors represent will never see tax free gifts like this.

Anonymous said...

Hopefully Brent Council Planning Officers, the Brent Council Legal Team, the Brent Council Chief Executive, Brent Council Scrutiny Officers and maybe even some investigative journalists will also look into the very close connections between Brent Councillors who are on the Barham Park Trust Committee and Brent Councillors who are on the Brent Council Planning Committee...


Cllr Mo Butt, Leader of Brent Council is currently Chair of the Barham Park Trust which is trying to get protective covenants removed for this development to go ahead, when they should instead be protecting this historic park!

His brother Cllr Saqib Butt and his brother-in-law Cllr Ajmal Akram are both on the Brent Council Planning Committee.

Cllr Mili Patel is Deputy Leader of the Council and she is also on the Barham Park Trust while her husband is Cllr Matt Kelcher is Chair of the Brent Council Planning Committee.

Cllr Mo Butt's fellow Tokyngton Cllr, Krupa Sheth, is also on the Barham Park Trust while her uncle Cllr Ketan Sheth is a Wembley Central councillor - Barham Park was recently moved into Wembley Central ward due to boundary changes.

Another Wembley Central Cllr Rajan-Seelan is also on the Brent Council Planning Committee.

All of this needs full disclosure and these seemingly 'compromised' closely connected Councillors should NOT be able to decide on this planning application.