Marius Brill asked for residents to be put at the heart of planning negotiations at the 24 April 2019 Full Council Meeting
Marius Brill spoke of the work undertaken by Ashburn Gardens and Courtfield residents in preserving the local area. They were volunteers who felt passionate about the area. They had successfully objected to two recent planning applications. He added that residents had spent many hours of unpaid work in making objections. In effect the Council had been outsourcing in-depth research to residents. A review of the system for pre-planning advice was needed. He asked the Council to put residents at heart of negotiations and they would in turn support the Council.
I welcome resident input on planning applications of this kind and can assure you that the planning process in place fully takes into account and incorporates planning related resident objections. Decisions made by Planning Committee as part of this process are made in relation to the Local Plan and Council policy.
I do recognise, however, that there is a feeling of resident disaffection with the process, and that there needs to be an evaluation on how we engage with residents. In response, there was a resident and expert workshop focusing on pre-applications, which was examined by the Public Realm Select Committee focusing on 7 May 2019. Recommendations from this will form part of our upcoming workstreams on how we engage better with residents in future.
However, I can confirm that, in the event of our planning decisions being overturned by either the Mayor of London or the Secretary of State, and if applicants appeal, we always defend our decision with rigour. The level of support we put into these does depend on complexity and scale of case, but the Council will always defend its position with professionalism and due diligence. Only earlier this month we successfully had the High Court quash the Mayor of London’s decision to take over the planning application at the Holiday Inn, Cromwell Road after our Planning Committee decided to refuse the application.
I am more than happy to meet with you in the near future to discuss how to take this forward and to help us improve our resident engagement.