We opened with another of Willesden’s fabulous residents, vociferously urging the inspector to reject the developer’s appeal. Whatever the eventual decision we thank inspector for allowing the community’s voice to be heard throughout this process.
Then came Fairview’s planning consultant who blinded us with some technical details on density and references to the London Plan. Unfortunately Brent’s barrister decided not to cross-examine him. We were then given opportunity to make several points relating to both the layout of the proposed new space and the interim arrangements for Busy Rascals while construction is underway.
We impressed upon the inspector that the current layout of the The Queensbury with its 2 interconnected rooms is ideal for Busy Rascals use as it allows parents to drink tea and coffee in the front while still being able to watch the classes taking place in the back. In contrast, the new proposed layout will have 2 strongly delineated spaces with the back room accessed via a corridor and no line-of-sight view between the two rooms.
We further made the point that Busy Rascals have not been shown any of the proposed interim spaces nor have they agreed that any of them are suitable.
We did manage to secure an agreement that in the event of the appeal being allowed that the interim space for Busy Rascals would need to be agreed as suitable by themselves, as well as Fairview and Brent Council.
The rest of the afternoon was taken up with fairly technical matters relating to the nature of the affordable housing (whether it would be for shared ownership or for rent) and details of the Section 106 agreement (money which developers pay to the council to improve local infrastructure).
The inquiry will not sit on Monday but will readjourn on Tuesday at 1pm for closing submissions.
It’s been a tough 4 days, so we’re off to the pub (while we’ve still got one).