Monday 27 February 2017

Local residents fail in bid to protect the Green Belt

Last week, a well orchestrated planning application to build an extension to Hasmonean School in Page St on a large area of green belt land was passed by Barnet Council's planning committee. I received the following email.

"I was very interested in your recent post on corporate vandalism in Barnet.  Like you, I was deeply shocked at the decision of Councillors regarding the new Hasmonean school.  I just wanted to highlight that this is not a done deal - the London Mayor now has an opportunity to overrule the decision, but I am not sure if people are aware of this - it is really important that people contact him now to let him know how unhappy we are about the behaviour of the Council.  The Green Belt destruction website has an update, but could you put in another word for them on your blog - I only found out about it from the last time they did a guest post on your blog."
To demonstrate how the campaign was co-ordinated by people outside Mill Hill, checkout this pin map. The red pins are objections to the plan, the green pins are messages of support.  As you can see there was strong local opposiion, but people well outside the area and not affected were highly active.


Anonymous said...

I'm not sure whether you can use the argument of proximity to a proposed development site as justification of a person's view, whether it is in support or in objection to said applications. Could it possibly be the case that the people who you deem to be 'not affected' have a vested interest in the school, such that they may have family members already in attendance there or at some point in the future, or that they are previous attendees of the school and therefore wish for it to be the best that it can be?

Paula said...

Hello 'Anonymous' - I have no doubt that the applicants and supporters of this proposal to build on green belt land have a sincerely held belief that their right to a nice new building is more important than the rights of the locals to decent living conditions. The point is that they, being mostly 'not local' will not pay the price, yet they will reap all the benefits. The planning officers made a clear case as to why green belt land should not be used in this way, referencing existing planning regulations. Yet the Councillors who voted this building proposal through decided to go against this advice, and against the interests of the local residents, most of whom objected to the development. Councillors are meant to protect the interests of the local residents that they represent. They might well have wanted the best for a school with which they had close ties, but they are elected to be impartial.