Thursday, 26 October 2017

Proof that Capita is failing everyone in the Outsourced Barnet Planning department

On the 16th August 2016, Barnet Council's planning department, which is run by Capita as part of the One Barnet Outsourcing contract recveived a planning application to erect a huge electronic advertising hoarding, next to the M1. This plan was validated on the 18th August. The full details are here

https://publicaccess.barnet.gov.uk/online-applications/applicationDetails.do?activeTab=summary&keyVal=OBZO34JIG0800

The application received eight objections, normally enough to warrant a decision at the planning committee

David Welch Not Available (Objects)

Comment submitted date: Fri 07 Oct 2016

There are no deadline dates on the planning website, so we are submitting this letter assuming that it will be considered. We have inspected the plans for the above proposed development and wish to object to them for the following reasons:

1. The signs are large at 12 metres wide and would present a serious hazard for drivers on the M1, who could be distracted by them. No commercial 'benefit' from this sort of advertising can outweigh the possible loss of life or limb resulting from a serious road accident that they might cause.
2. There would be serious light pollution to the nearby observatory, impeding their observations and stellar research.
3. They would be out of keeping with the local area, which is generally residential and free from commercial intrusion.

For these reasons we urge you to refuse this application.

Dr. Giorgio Savini UCL Observatory 553 Watford Way Mill Hill (Objects)

Comment submitted date: Wed 05 Oct 2016

My objection stems from the fact that the proposed structures erected at a short distance south of the Observatory
produce a significant amount of diffused light which creates high level of optical pollution which damages
our routine and regular activities as an observatory in the evenings and at night.

The direction in which telescopes are pointed towards (other than up) is very often South, as it is there that
most objects of interest in the solar system lie given our latitude (and when observable).

I have read the reasoning of the planning application and while it might be that there are other signs which have been erected
further south which seem to make little difference from the perspective of the road layout, the closer proximity of this proposed sign
to Mill Hill and our site and the declared illumination amount (and type - LED is of the worst kinds unfortunately for our job)
makes it more than just an eyesore with consequent deterioration of our research and teaching activities.

The observatory as you most likely know is a vibrant part of the Mill Hill and alongside
training future astronomers as part of a university degree hosts school trips from all
of the North of London and free Public Visits for local visitors.
We hope you can register our concerns and objections for this application
and look forward to any feedback on the matter.

Mrs christine Butt 25 Wardell Close Mill Hill Londfon NW7 2LG (Objects)

Comment submitted date: Thu 15 Sep 2016

We dont need this at that spot or anywhere else in Mill Hill. Its out of keeping with the surroundings.

Ms Gail Samuelson 8 Hillside Grove London NW7 2LR (Objects)

Comment submitted date: Thu 01 Sep 2016

It would be an eyesore

Mr Jonathan Klaff 26 Grange Hill London HA89PE (Objects)

Comment submitted date: Wed 31 Aug 2016

These hoardings present no benefit to the area, being wholly out of character with Mill Hill. There is a significant risk of drivers on the motorway being distracted, and the only reason for the hoardings is to advertise to them.
There are already hoardings lower down the motorway at Pentavia Park, and the area needs no more.
In a time when Mill Hill needs to move forward to better serve the residents, these hoardings are a step in the wrong direction.

Mr Ashley Boonin Flat 5 Randolph Court 109 Bunns Lane Mill Hill NW72DF (Objects)

Comment submitted date: Wed 31 Aug 2016

I object to the sign on the grounds that it causes light pollution. The sign will be opposite my bedroom window and the fluorescent blue light will cause sleep disruption for myself and my partner. I suggest that the sign is moved away from eyeshot of peoples' bedroom. This would be a more considerate location.

Mr Ian Fribbbance 9 Lyndhurst Avenue Mill Hill London NW7 2AD (Objects)

Comment submitted date: Wed 31 Aug 2016

The new proposed signs are far too tall and overly imposing for a suburban town centre site such as this, so close to Mill Hill. They are out of keeping with their surrounds, which is (generally) a suburban neighbourhood. The new height proposed would make them far more visible from a number of local points, to the significant detriment to the visual amenities of the area.

Mrs Kerry Hewitt-McEyeson 14 Aberdare Gardens Mill Hill London NW7 1DS (Objects)

Comment submitted date: Wed 31 Aug 2016

As a minimum this will be unsightly and out of keeping for the Mill Hill area and not least a distraction for M1 drivers. I fear that the unique feel of our area is being eroded and that this addition does nothing except create an eyesore fir residents but money for the advertiser and owner. The unsightly addition to our area must be refused for the damaging impact it will have.

As you can see, one of these was from the observatory at Mill Hill. Yesterday, I found out that the application had been passed on appeal. The grounds for appeal? That the planning department had not actually bothered to process the application.

To me this is awful. It is disgusting that the eight people who complained have been disenfranchised. It is disgusting because the company who lodged the application have in effect lost one years income.  Let's put aside the rights and wrongs of the case. The point is that it is absolutely clear that the process isn't working and everyone, complainants, residents and applicant have been miserably failed by Barnet Council and it's chosen outsourced company, Capita.

Everyone deserves better. If the complainants were right, they've been disenfranchised, if the application was fine, the company has lost income.

The Barnet Tories brought Capita in and it has clearly failed. The Mill Hill Tory Councillors should hang their heads in shame for allowing such a failing system to be inflicted on us.

How many developments are going to go through by default? It is absolutely disgusting. The blame lies fairly and squarely at the door of the Barnet Conservatives who brought in this failing system. It is time to bring planning back in house and have proper democratic accountability.



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