Hive enforcement notice decision a 'betrayal of the people of Harrow' says councillor

Times Series: Harrow Borough Council has withdrawn its enforcement notice for Barnet FC to pull down a stand and remove floodlights at its Hive stadium Harrow Borough Council has withdrawn its enforcement notice for Barnet FC to pull down a stand and remove floodlights at its Hive stadium

An opposition councillor says the decision to withdraw its enforcement notice for Barnet FC’s stadium the Hive is a ‘betrayal of the people’.

Last night the Harrow Times broke the news Harrow Borough Council has withdrawn its enforcement notice for Barnet FC to pull down a stand and remove floodlights at its Hive stadium.

The move came following legal advice given to the council that it would be highly unlikely the authority would be successful in the enforcement action at a public planning appeal enquiry.

After announcement, which was made to councillors at 10.15pm last night, Labour councillor Sachin Shah said: “This decision by Tory-run Harrow Council is a betrayal of the people of Harrow.

“The decision was apparently based on 'legal advice', however that advice was not shared with planning committee members last night nor have ward councillors seen it.

“I have serious concerns at the way this Tory-run council is making decisions behind closed doors. The Harrow council tax payers deserve better than this.”

Planning officers say if the council was to continue with an unsuccessful claim it could cost the authority up to £300,000.

In September, members of the council planning committee rejected the application on the basis that the stadium's floodlights and west stand fell outside specifications agreed by the council.

Harrow council leader Councillor Susan Hall said: “In the light of the legal advice we received in relation to the enforcement notice, it would have just been reckless to press on with action we wouldn’t win and I am not prepared to waste taxpayers’ money.

“The council’s objections to this scheme were driven all along by quite understandable concerns from local people and it was our duty to stand up for them.

“We still have an opportunity to support residents concerns as a planning appeal against the council’s refusal of planning permission.

“The council will use the forthcoming planning appeal to seek proper controls over the development including the floodlights.”

Comments (4)

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3:37pm Thu 10 Apr 14

Husain Akhtar says...

As a Canons ward councillor, I have always supported the residents who of course have been concerned about the impact of this place on the quality of their lives!

I don't always know why certain enforcements are actively progress and other are not!

Wonder what happened to the portfolio holder and chairman of planning - people rightly get feed up listening to one person regarding various areas of the council's work!
As a Canons ward councillor, I have always supported the residents who of course have been concerned about the impact of this place on the quality of their lives! I don't always know why certain enforcements are actively progress and other are not! Wonder what happened to the portfolio holder and chairman of planning - people rightly get feed up listening to one person regarding various areas of the council's work! Husain Akhtar
  • Score: -11

4:16pm Thu 10 Apr 14

SteveLong says...

Finally the council have realised the cost of ignoring planning law.

“The council will use the forthcoming planning appeal to seek proper controls over the development including the floodlights.”

This is what should have happened last year instead of refusing planning for unlawful reasons and then coming unstuck when they tried to enforce it. There has never been a valid legal argument for refusing the West Stand or the Floodlights. The discussion should've always been to ensure the use of the floodlights was reasonable and as unobtrusive as practicable in line with light nuisance law. It's still baffles me now as to why Harrow council didn't do this and instead chose to allow the use of the floodlights all winter without controls in place.
They have let the residents down in their haste to show how big and tough they can be.
Finally the council have realised the cost of ignoring planning law. “The council will use the forthcoming planning appeal to seek proper controls over the development including the floodlights.” This is what should have happened last year instead of refusing planning for unlawful reasons and then coming unstuck when they tried to enforce it. There has never been a valid legal argument for refusing the West Stand or the Floodlights. The discussion should've always been to ensure the use of the floodlights was reasonable and as unobtrusive as practicable in line with light nuisance law. It's still baffles me now as to why Harrow council didn't do this and instead chose to allow the use of the floodlights all winter without controls in place. They have let the residents down in their haste to show how big and tough they can be. SteveLong
  • Score: 14

6:49pm Thu 10 Apr 14

Duke of Chandos says...

This really was a futile case to go after compared to the "sheds in beds" and other planning matters which need enforcement. The West Stand offends no one. It is in the middle of the site adjacent to the Tube embankment. Yes the floodlighting probably does need adjustment. What really needs attention is that both Harrow Planning and their Enforcement section are not fit for purpose. Why? Because local policy is determined purely on whim and fancy and what is politically expedient to the party of the day.
This really was a futile case to go after compared to the "sheds in beds" and other planning matters which need enforcement. The West Stand offends no one. It is in the middle of the site adjacent to the Tube embankment. Yes the floodlighting probably does need adjustment. What really needs attention is that both Harrow Planning and their Enforcement section are not fit for purpose. Why? Because local policy is determined purely on whim and fancy and what is politically expedient to the party of the day. Duke of Chandos
  • Score: 22

12:21am Sun 13 Apr 14

school 74 says...

the only thing these comments ignore, is that planning law states that floodlights should be built to minimise light as much as possible within parameters. The current floodlights are different to those in the original planning because they reduce light spillage by MORE than specified (to comply with existing law which wasn't in place in 2006 ) !! So, enforcing the original (now out of date) planning permission will only increase any light pollution to the local houses !! Why would anyone want to do that ??????
the only thing these comments ignore, is that planning law states that floodlights should be built to minimise light as much as possible within parameters. The current floodlights are different to those in the original planning because they reduce light spillage by MORE than specified (to comply with existing law which wasn't in place in 2006 ) !! So, enforcing the original (now out of date) planning permission will only increase any light pollution to the local houses !! Why would anyone want to do that ?????? school 74
  • Score: 10

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