The letter sent on behalf of the Secretary of State to Catherine Linford, the City of London Planning Case Officer, says;'The Secretary of State has carefully considered this case against call-in policy, as set out in the Written Ministerial Statement by Nick Boles on 26 October 2012. The policy makes it clear that the power to call in a case will only be used very selectively.
The Government is committed to give more power to councils and communities to make their own decisions on planning issues, and believes planning decisions should be made at the local level wherever possible.
In deciding whether to call in this application, the Secretary of State has considered his policy on calling in planning applications. This policy gives examples of the types of issues which may lead him to conclude, in his opinion that the application should be called in. The Secretary of State has decided, having had regard to this policy, not to call in this application. He is content that it should be determined by the local planning authority.'You can read the Government's policy here: 'Written Ministerial Statement by Nick Boles on 26 October 2012’.From reading the statement it's difficult to understand why the Secretary of State has made this decision. It says;The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (Nick Boles):The Localism Act has put the power to plan back in the hands of communities, but with this power comes responsibility: a responsibility to meet their needs for development and growth, and to deal quickly and effectively with proposals that will deliver homes, jobs and facilities.The 'power to plan' in this case has not been put 'back in the hands of communities' - unless that means the City's business community. The City does not work in the same way as all other local authorities. Almost all the City's community of some 7,000 residents live in just 4 wards - most of whom live in Cripplegate's Barbican and Golden Lane estates. Residents have only 20 elected Councillors and the other 80 are elected by City businesses. Thus planning and other City decisions are dominated by businessmen like Chris Hayward, Chair of the Planning and Transportation Committee.The Secretary of State will, in general, only consider the use of his call-in powers if planning issues of more than local importance are involved. Such cases may include, for example, those which in his opinion:The proposed building will cause damage to an exemplar Grade II listed social housing estate. You can read more about that here. Listed by Historic England in 2000, the estate's buildings are of national importance.2. May have significant long-term impact on economic growth and meeting housing needs across a wider area than a single local authority;The park and school are in Islington - both objected to the development. Islington, Hackney and Tower Hamlet residents use the school and the park as well as many City residents. Most of the Committee members who voted to Approve never even visited the site.4. Give rise to substantial cross-boundary or national controversy;
The new block with overshadow an Islington ParkThe park and school are in Islington. Islington, Hackney and Tower Hamlet residents use the school and the park as well as City residents.
The proposed block with complete overshadow and overlook the listed
Bowater House, Golden Lane Estate
Police advice from the City of London Website page 'Counter Terrorism'
FaceBook Page from when BMH was a Police Section HouseWas this case really looked at on individual merits? As none of the above points were addressed one wonders whether it was looked at in any detail at all.
This is a letter Dr Mark Campbell wrote to the City of London Planners on the historical importance of Bernard Morgan House
Here is an article about the Secretary of State's decision in City Matters
Judicial Review may be our only option to stop this development, please donate here, on our Crowd Justice page