Monday, 25 February 2013

Is the WGLC planning decision final?

Philip Grant writes:

Although Brent (Regeneration Department?) were very quick to put out a triumphal press release last Friday, saying:

'the redevelopment of Willesden Green Library Centre (WGLC) took an important step forward last night (Thursday) when Brent Council's planning committee approved the plans,'

it is noticeable that (as at 4.30pm on Monday 25 February) neither the Democratic Services (Planning Committee) nor the Brent Planning Service  (ref. 12/2924) web pages have yet given details of any such decision.

The press release does go on to say:
'the proposals will now be put to the GLA and Secretary of State who need to give the go-ahead before Brent can formally give planning permission,'
but Galliford Try and Brent's Regeneration Department have another problem as well. At the Planning Committee meeting of 21 February there was a clear breach of Brent's own Planning Code of Practice (part of Brent Council's constitution), as a public register which Planning Officers have to sign if they have what could be regarded as a "prejudicial interest" was not available for inspection at the meeting.
I had specifically advised the Democratic Services Officer responsible for the meeting that I wished to inspect this register at the meeting, so that there is no excuse for it not being there (under the Code, it is meant to be there anyway). As a result, I complained to Brent's Chief Executive about this irregularity on 22 February, and it is currently being investigated by Fiona Ledden, Brent's Director of Legal Affairs. She has promised to report back later this week. As the Planning Committee were not made aware the possibility of "prejudicial Interest" in the reports and recommendations put before them at the meeting on 21 February, they may be asked to reconsider their decisions.


  1. Give it up, for goodness' sake. How much of our money has already been wasted on daft schemes like the town square application? Accept defeat and let it go ahead without further delays and unnecessary expense. This whole campaign has been powered by a bunch of cranks with too much time on their hands and an attitude problem.

    1. Dear Anonymous,

      You are entitled to your opinions, but I for one do not agree with you.
      I have spoken with a number of the KWG campaigners, and other individuals like myself who have been involved in fighting this ill-considered scheme. They are ordinary decent people putting in a lot of effort because they believe that what is proposed, and the way in which it has been handled by Brent's Regeneration Team, is wrong. They are certainly not "a bunch of cranks".
      Yes, there has been a lot of unnecessary expense, because Galliford Try and the Regeneration Team would not listen to what thousands of local people were telling them (particularly about the need to retain the 1894 library building) during the original "consultation" in February and March 2012. Because they would not listen, and pressed ahead pretending that it was not a "sham" exercise, they lost the goodwill of many in the local community. The application to register the open space in front of WGLC as a town or village green was a direct result of their mis-handling of the process.
      If you had been against a planning application which was approved when the report on which that approval was based was one-sided, and the committee had not been made aware that it was likely to be one-sided, would you just accept it? That is what happened last Thursday evening. If the application is approved fairly, then I will "give it up", but we have not yet reached that stage.
      Philip Grant.

    2. Please don't waste any more of our cash tilting against windmills. Let it go through now.

  2. I agree, the Planning Committee overwhelmingly approved the scheme, it's time to let it go and move on, there's no need to throw more taxpayer's money down the drain chasing trivialities

  3. Brent's web page has now been updated to show that Planning Permission has been granted, subject to Major of London refusing the application and SoS approval

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