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.