‘Minesweeper vs Bismark’: Dismore despairs at Barnet Council’s Planning Department’s woeful incompetence

Labour London Assembly Member for Barnet and Camden Andrew Dismore has written to the Council’s Chief Executive, John Hooton, to raise the shambles of Barnet Council’s planning department’s failed presentation at last week’s Planning Appeal over the cemetery land in Mill Hill.

Mr Dismore said:

‘The Council made a real horlicks  of this very sensitive and controversial planning appeal to permit the building of  a car park, road and maintenance shed on this currently vacant and unused  land in the green belt  and conservation area, with additional protection for its importance to the natural world.

‘To see how outclassed the Council were was frankly embarrassing. It was like watching a minesweeper take on the Bismark. Residents will quite rightly feel badly let down , having themselves attended the planning inquiry  to give evidence, or were intending to do so. Residents weren’t even told that there had been amendments to the  application , on which they should have been consulted.

‘Whilst I was able to give my evidence before the lunch adjournment  to support my written objections (below) the Council threw in the towel at the break, even though the hearing was scheduled for  four days, meaning that important evidence was not heard and abandoned.  even the Conservative Mill Hill councillors were appalled at this woeful showing.

‘The clear impression  was that the Council gave in on grounds of avoiding a costs order rather than the strength of the case, which had been undermined by their poor preparation.

‘Residents deserve to be better represented by the Council than this. it seems to me that the Council’s  planners are completely out of their depth, so i am calling for an urgent root and branch review of what is going on there, especially as there is another very sensitive planning appeal coming up very soon, over the proposed golf course at Bury Farm, Edgware.


Notes: planning objection to cemetery road milespit hill jan 15

Mill Hill Cemetery Appeal brief against adjournment