Agenda item

Call-in of the Decision of the Cabinet Meeting held on 14 December 2006: Key Decision - Land at Gayton Road

The following items are attached:

·        Notice Invoking the Call-in

·        Extract from the Minutes of the Cabinet meeting held on 14 December 2006


At its meeting on 14 December 2006, the Cabinet had received a confidential report of the Director of Planning Services, which outlined proposals for a development at Gayton Road.


Cabinet had resolved, in principle, to dispose of the land at Gayton Road to Fairview Homes in order to facilitate the provision of a library/performing arts exhibition centre and replacement car park and that officers be authorised to negotiate terms.  A call?in notice was subsequently received, calling in the decision and this decision had therefore been referred to the Call?In Sub?Committee for consideration under the call-in procedure.


The Decision had been called in on the following grounds:-


·         inadequate consultation with stakeholders prior to the decision;

·         the absence of adequate evidence on which to base a decision; and

·         insufficient consideration of financial and legal advice.


The Portfolio Holder for Planning, Development and Enterprise made the following statement in relation to the various grounds for call?in.


·                     Inadequate consultation:


-             The site had been identified for redevelopment and discussed at the Town Centre Project Panel and Harrow Town Centre Project Panel (HTCPP).


-             A feasibility study had been approved at the HTCPP in July 2004, which in principle was aimed at meeting identified development needs as set out in cultural and leisure strategies.


-             The developers needed to know that the Authority was serious about the development before they were prepared to put more resources into developing their proposals.


·                     The absence of adequate evidence on which to base a decision:


-             The feasibility study was the initial stage of the project.


-             The feasibility study had been completed and it had been confirmed that the development would significantly improve the town centre and cultural provision which would benefit the Borough as a whole.


·                     Insufficient consideration of financial and legal advice:


-             The advice presented by Cabinet included a detailed report from well-known reputable consultants.


-             The report had been cleared by the Monitoring Officer and the Chief Financial Officer.


Members representing the signatories to the Call-in notice expressed the following points.


·                     Inadequate consultation with stakeholders prior to the decision:


-             The grounds for consultation were flawed.


-             The HTCPP had had no opportunity to give their views.


-             The HTCPP meeting on 12 December 2006 had been cancelled due to lack of substantive business.  The proposed development was significant and this meeting would have been the ideal opportunity to discuss this matter.


-             The local development framework should have been considered at the HTCPP first.


-             The Authority had not considered the significant revenue costs.


-             The scope of the project had not been thought through carefully and could result in a legal challenge.


The Director of Planning Services referred Members to the report and advised as follows.


-             In relation to the library and car park, negotiations between the developer and the Authority would need to consider an agreed specification and final costs.


-             Revenue costs associated with a business plan would need to be considered by officers.


-             Subject to the Cabinet’s approval, a Development Agreement plan would be drawn up and reported back in due course.  The timescale for this was six months.


-             Consultation at the stage of planning application would be widespread.


Members of the Sub-Committee, having considered all the evidence, summarised their views relating to the grounds for call?in.  Based on the written and oral submissions, the Sub?Committee


RESOLVED:  That the grounds for the call-in be rejected and the decision of the Cabinet on 14 December 2006 to the proposed redevelopment of land at Gayton Road be implemented.

Supporting documents: