Monday 5 June 2023

'Misrepresentation' by officers cited in Objection to the Barham Park Application Committee Report before Brent Planning Committee on June 12th: Application must be refused.

 Philip Grant informed readers of this objection on a comment to the earlier article on the Barham Park planning application. With his permission I am publishing it as a guest post:

Barham Park objection comment on Officer Report to 12 June Planning Committee:-

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.

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.

Philip Grant, Submitted 5 June 2023.


Anonymous said...

Let's we forget..


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, 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 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 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 Planning Committee.

This needs full disclosure and these seemingly 'compromised' councillors should not be able to decide on this planning application."

The charity commission should be investigating how this is all being handled!

Anonymous said...

Bravo Philip - no surprise that the ordinary citizen can apply planning policy better than Brent Planners. As at Preston Library redevelopment Butt & Co intend to built in the park even if the Courts find twice that the scheme is against policy. The law applies except those in power in Brent.

Paul Lorber said...

Philip Grant is of course correct.

But Planning Officers have found an ingenious ways of over coming the clear restriction in the Sudbury Neighbourhood plan.

According to the Planners’ definition the houses inside the Park are not “buildings” the redevelopment of which should be REFUSED according to the Plan.

Of course most of will ask the obvious question “what are houses if not buildings”?

I was around when the Sudbury Neighbourhood Plan was being developed and local residents and the local Residents Association was being developed. The intent was very clear - residents were very clear that they wanted Barham Park protected from additional intrusive buildings. Replacement of the two existing houses with 4 taller houses falls into this category.

The current Planning Application should be REFUSED because of it as Philip Grant says.

Philip Grant said...


This is the full text of the email which I have sent to Brent's Head of Planning this morning, together with a document copy of my comment in the article above:-

Dear Mr Ansell,

I'm attaching a copy of the objection comment I submitted yesterday evening, as I think it is only fair that you are aware of its contents.

My comment was not yet uploaded onto the planning web page for the 776/778 Harrow Road (Barham Park) application when I checked at 10am, but it is publicly available on the "Wembley Matters" blog website.

'Misrepresentation' is a strong word, but I believe it is appropriate in this case.

If you believe that I am wrong in my assessment of how the Sudbury Town Neighbourhood Plan policy BP1 applies to application 22/4128, then please ensure that your Officers set out the planning law and policy reasons why you believe that, in a Supplementary Report published with the agenda on the Council's website by this Friday, to give ample time for its consideration.

If you accept that I am right, then the Supplementary Report should confirm that policy BP1 applies, and your recommendation changed to refusal of the application.

We have had differences of opinion over planning applications in the past, but this is a high profile application, and the integrity and credibility of Brent's Planning Service is on the line. That would not be enhanced by trying to defend a position which is seen to be indefensible. Best wishes,

Philip Grant.

Anonymous said...

Philip Grant's objection to the misrepresentation by planning officers in the Barham Park Application Committee Report highlights a significant issue that reflects the broader struggle between the working class and the capitalist establishment. The misrepresentation in the report attempts to undermine the Sudbury Town Neighbourhood Plan, which unequivocally states that the redevelopment of park buildings for residential use should not be supported.

While paragraph 11 of the Committee Report correctly recognises this policy, paragraph 13 twists its meaning. The report claims that the proposal does not constitute the redevelopment of park buildings, contradicting the clear definition of "redevelopment" and misleading the Committee. Furthermore, paragraph 13 states that the proposal aligns with policies LGS1, LGS2, and BP1, but this is a misinterpretation. Policy BP1 explicitly states that proposals for the redevelopment of park buildings for residential use should not be supported.

The Sudbury Town Neighbourhood Plan, adopted by Brent Council and integrated into the Local Plan, carries significant weight in decision-making. The National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) emphasizes the importance of neighborhood plans and designates local green spaces for special protection. In accordance with the NPPF, policy BP1 takes precedence over conflicting non-strategic policies unless superseded by subsequent policies.

There is no evidence that policy BP1 has been superseded, and therefore, it must take precedence over any other Local Plan policies in the neighborhood area, including the proposed development in application 22/4128. Consequently, it is imperative that the Planning Committee refuses this application as it directly violates policy BP1.

Philip Grant's objection exposes the inherent contradictions within the capitalist system, where the interests of developers and profit-seeking override the needs and desires of the community. It is through the diligent efforts of individuals like Mr. Grant, who challenge the misrepresentations and fight for the implementation of just policies, that we can begin to address the structural inequalities and oppressive mechanisms perpetuated by the capitalist establishment.

Anonymous said...

Paul Lorber must be a politician to suggest such nonsense

Paul Lorber said...

There is a very good reason why the Sudbury Town Neighbourhood Plan uses the language that it does in relation to the issue of "redevelopment of park buildings".

Policy BP1 was introduced to STOP any further residential development in the Park.

The Sudbury Town Neighbourhood Plan does not object or prevent 'redevelopment of park buildings' for other community purposes or benefits because there was a very clear precedent set in around 2009 when the two former park keepers houses (the same two houses - or "buildings - subject to this planning application) were adapted for use as a temporary Children Centre while the permanent Children Centre (now closed) was being developed within the former Barham Park Library in another part of the Park.

In trying to protect Barham Park the Sudbury Town Neighbourhood Plan simply wanted to STOP further additional development within a Public Open Space in line with the very long standing Brent Council Policy (honoured up to now under administrations of different political parties) that Brent Parks and Open Spaces would be protected and not built on.

Anonymous said...

Councillor Lorber having read your comment above you seem to be sitting on the fence.

Anonymous said...

Brent’s planning officers are very accomplished or should I say devious in how they prepare the report for the committee. They did exactly the same for Rokesby Place by leaving out important points from the objections and wording the report in such a way to dismiss relevant issues. Very adapt at creative writing.

Anonymous said...

Are the planners devious or are they being forced into preparing the reports in this way for the benefit of Labour's best buddy developers???

Mr Irvin must have very deep pockets considering this is his 10th planning application for this site - obviously some one is leading him to keep trying.

Anonymous said...

Brent Council just quit this nonsense. Titus Barham was indeed a true philanthropist and you are just running rough shod over his legacy. If Irvin wants to redevelop fine, but just what is there, there is no need to put up 4 huge houses and take grounds from the park. Get your Planning house in order and the Cllrs that are participating in this fiasco should be ashamed, you are voted by the residents and as such should do their bidding. Just get your house in order and stop this now.