Philip Grant writes:
I have just received the following email, which gives at least one "technical reason" why the two WGLC applications have been deferred from the meeting on Wednesday 13 February, although it suggests that there is still some doubt over whether the new meeting will be on Thursday 21 February.Dear Mr Grant
You will hopefully have been notified earlier today that both applications have been deferred for consideration tomorrow and instead will be reported to a future meeting. The date of the meeting will be notified to all who have expressed views on the application including yourself.
One of the consequences of deferral will be to allow amendment and updates to the reports including reference to the Secretary of State on the Conservation Consent item. I will update you once this has been done.
This reply follows exchanges of emails I have had with Mr Walker since the Planning Officer's report on the Conservation Area Consent application (12/2925) appeared on the Planning Committee agenda website.Kind regardsChris WalkerAssistant Director (Planning & Development)
I had pointed out that the recommendation made in the report, that Planning Committee should resolve to agree the Consent application in principle was unlawful, as only the Secretary of State, not Brent's Planning Committee, has authority to give any decision on this application. This had been agreed by Mr Walker, on behalf of then Chief Executive Gareth Daniel, as far back as May 2012, and Mr Walker had confirmed in November 2012, that this still applied to the new application for consent to partial demolition of the 1894 Library building.
All that is actually needed on this application is a brief report to Planning Committee, advising them that they need to refer it to the Secretary of State, and making provision for Mr Walker to implement the SoS's decision once he has made it.
Although the meeting may only be deferred for a week, it means that the proposed redevelopment of WGLC will not have received planning permission by the first anniversary of the Development Agreement between Brent Council and Galliford Try (signed 15 February 2012). This means that either party can now cancel that agreement, as planning approval within twelve months was a "condition precedent". It does not mean that either of them will pull out, but it may be worth mentioning this to your local councillors as an option they may like to consider, to stop wasting even more money on this ill-considered project.