Friday, 8 February 2013

Validity of Galliford Try planning application site still an open issue

Wiembley and Willesden Observer February 7th 2013

Philip Grant writes: 
Despite Galliford Try saying that 'this claim is completely misleading', and a Brent Council spokesperson saying 'we regard the application as valid', the issue highlighted in yesterday's "Wembley & Willesden Observer" (above) has not gone away.
When Brent Planning Service sent a response (see: "Formal challenge issued on validity of Willesden Green planning application", 23 January, below) earlier this week, they would not even acknowledge that the application which they validated on 2 November 2012 was, in fact, invalid. Although they said that the revised plans which Galliford Try submitted to "correct" the application were now valid, they did not answer the point which was raised, that the site plan includes a larger area than that actually agreed by Brent's Executive and included in the Development Agreement.
Dissatisfied with that reply, I referred the matter to Brent's Acting Chief Executive, Christine Gilbert, on Wednesday, as the matter is too important to allow it to be swept under the carpet. As far as I am aware, Brent's Executive has not agreed that the site boundary can be extended. If any Council Officer has agreed it, or has allowed it to be done without raising any objection, what authority do they have for this? It will be interesting to see whether the Executive is asked to approve the larger site, by way of an emergency item at the end of next Monday's already busy agenda, "just to be on the safe side".
The extra 1180 square metres added to the Willesden Green Library Centre development site is not a "land grab", in as far as the land will remain in Brent's ownership, but the fact that Galliford Try are now showing a larger site than that agreed by Brent's Executive is there for all to see, in black and red. There needs to be transparency about what is going on here, and whether or not it has been validly authorised. If it has not, then proper procedures need to be followed.
Plan A, Site Plan,Brent Executive Jan 2012        Plan B, Revised Site Plan, Galliford Try Dec 2012

1 comment:

  1. Quick Update:

    After sending a follow-up email to Brent's Chief Executive with copies of the two plans displayed, I received the following from her assistant late on Friday afternoon:

    'Christine has passed your email to relevant lawyers in the legal department to look into this matter and to respond to you directly.'

    We will have to wait and see what they say.
    Philip Grant


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