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Last night the Harrow Times broke the news Harrow Borough Council has withdrawn its enforcement notice for Barnet FC to pull down a stand and remove floodlights at its Hive stadium.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