Search

Concern over openness after no minutes taken in Brent Council leader’s meetings with planning developers

PUBLISHED: 12:41 21 November 2017 | UPDATED: 12:41 21 November 2017

Alperton Twin Towers

Alperton Twin Towers

Archant

Residents have called for greater openness after it was revealed that Brent Council leader Muhammed Butt met with planning developers and their representatives for a site in Alperton three times this year, with no records kept of what was said.

Brent Council leader Mohammed ButtBrent Council leader Mohammed Butt

Developers for the controversial £150m Minavil House in Alperton met with Cllr Butt in April. Further meetings took place in May, on one occasion over a hospitality lunch, a Freedom of Information (FOI) report showed.

The Minavil House application was approved earlier this year despite concerns over its height. R55 were granted permission to build a 26 storey tower despite “promises” by Cllr Butt that the tower wouldn’t be over 17 floors. Construction is yet to start.

Andrew Linnie, opposed the proposals. He believes the FOI means residents should question the “open transparency of the planning process.”

Cllr Butt, along with two officers in the regeneration department met with R55 on April 5 at 10:30am for an hour. A lunch, where R55 were represented, took place on May 10, and a third meeting took place, this time between Cllr Butt representatives of an agent working on behalf of R55 on May 23, also for an hour. No records were made of any of these meetings.

The Local Government Association advise that minutes should be taken at these meetings. The final meeting on May 23 took place the day before the planning committee met. According to Mr Linnie, “meeting with developers and their representatives the day before the council is due to rule on a scheme, especially one of such scale, is unprecedented and brings the entire planning process into disrepute.”

Resident Philip Grant believes doubts should be raised about whether the result of those meetings was that members of the planning committee were influenced to decide applications in favour of the developer.

“The lack of proper records does mean that ‘deciding planning matters in a fair, impartial and transparent manner’ is at risk.”

“Brent councillors and officers do need to ensure that proper records are kept of any meeting with developers or any other third party dealing with the Council on important matters.”

A spokesperson for Brent Council said: “As is normal in local authorities across the country, the leader of the council, the cabinet member for regeneration and senior officers meet with developers on a regular basis. These meetings are informal and minutes are not routinely taken.”

Latest Kilburn & Brent News Stories

Yesterday, 14:35

A “forgotten” station in Sudbury – with its skeleton train service, narrow platforms and anti-social behaviour rife in its unmanned enclosure – is blighting the lives of a growing community.

Mon, 14:08

Britain’s Got Talent finalists B Positive are among the line-up at a free four-day gospel music festival in Wembley.

Mon, 13:22

When A-level results come out on August 16, more than three quarters of students who want to go to university are likely to get into their first choice.

Mon, 11:52

Emergency services were called to Kilburn on Saturday night after a man was seen brandishing a knife.

Sunday, August 12, 2018

The plan for Brent Cross to rival the two Westfield shopping centres seems to be dead, overtaken by Brexit uncertainty, higher costs and on-line shopping (Times, July 26), writes John Cox, Chelsea Close, Harlesden.

Saturday, August 11, 2018

On August 1 I marked Emancipation Day, a commemorative celebration of the emancipation of enslaved people of African descent.

The transatlantic slave trade was a horrific abomination.

Friday, August 10, 2018

A new breed of employee is helping ease the strain on overstretched nurses and doctors at Northwick Park Hospital.

Friday, August 10, 2018

A Kilburn mother is offering up to 10 young people a unique and free opportunity to take part in a music industry project and develop their own EP.

PROMOTED CONTENT

The Granville has begun taking bookings for workspaces and events ahead of its opening this spring.

Brent Clinical Commissioning Group has announced changes to the community’s cardiology service.

If you have been looking for laser hair removal, beauty salon treatments, or skin care services you may be confused and overwhelmed with so much information out there and so many clinics and salons promising miraculous results.

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now

Newsletter Sign Up

Kilburn Times twice-weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Most Read Kilburn News

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Brent & Kilburn Times
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now