Thursday, 17 January 2013

Mystery of Brent Council support for WGLC planning application solved!

Philip Grant writes:-
Around Christmas time, a mysterious item was added to the comments section for the Willesden Green Library Centre application (ref. 12/2924) on the Brent Planning website:
    > 05/12/2012 - Brent Council , Town Hall , Forty Lane , Wembly , HA9 9HD . Support.
As Brent is, in reality, a joint applicant with Galliford Try Plc in this application, and also the Local Planning Authority, which needs to be seen to consider all planning applications fairly on proper planning grounds, this was a little worrying. I wrote straight away to the Planning Officer, Andy Bates, with the request

‘Please let me know, and make this information publicly available, who on behalf of Brent Council, and in what capacity, has submitted the Council's support for this application.’

I eventually received the following reply from Andy Bates on 16 January:

‘In terms of the point about the specific letter of support to which you refer, I have been able to ascertain what has happened. The correspondence has come from Ward Councillor Lesley Jones and her address has been entered as the Town Hall. It is this information that has been entered onto our database and which appears in the public view that interested parties can see. I am currently asking my colleagues in Technical Support to have a look at the way that the information is displayed in this particular case and I apologise it has taken as long as it has to clarify this particular point.’
So, the mystery has been solved, and it was all a mix-up by someone within the Planning and Development Department who did not know the difference between Brent Council and an individual Councillor. On the same day, the Brent Council entry above was deleted from the “View Comments” section of the Planning website, and replaced with:
Consultee comments:
> Cllr Lesley Jones , Member for Willesden Green Ward , Members Room , Brent Town Hall.

As a local Councillor, Lesley Jones counts as a “Statutory Consultee”, but her actual comments were not posted on the Planning website as they were sent by email. Luckily, when I called in at the Brent House One Stop Shop to look at some other planning documents on this application, a copy of her email was in the box. Brent's adopted Statement of Community Involvement says that representations received on planning matters will be published and made available, both online and at key locations, so that they can be read and considered by those who have also submitted comments and all other interested parties. I took a copy of the email, and this is available below, for any interested party to read and consider.

I wrote to Lesley Jones and suggested that she might want to publish hew views on her Council 'blog' ,as she had not yet shared them with her constituents, before they are made public elsewhere, 

I have received a reply from Cllr. Lesley Jones stating that  she has now put her planning application submission on her blog. She says:
'Could have put it on before but I get behind with updating my blog. Prefer to spend most time on case work for residents and following through with planning and conversion breaches in the ward.  Believe me, I do a lot!'

1 comment:

  1. Shame she doesent listen to pretty much every resident bar about 1 of Grange Road and Cornwall Gardens that they dont want this monstrosity built and huge overcrowded blocks of flats removing Light and open space from residents of these small once private roads. Brent is slowly ripping our once thriving neighbourhood community apart with people like Leslie Jones completely refusing to listen to the voices of the people she is meant to represent.


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