Beads Hall Lane: statement from Cllr David Kendall

October 28, 2009 5:44 PM
Beads Hall Lane in Pilgrims Hatch

Beads Hall Lane in Pilgrims Hatch

Following an article in today's Brentwood Gazette (28/10/09) entitled "Party Leader voted for site on short list" I would like to set the record straight.

The Borough Council's Gypsy/Traveller Working Party recommended to the Policy Panel that the site in Beads Hall Lane should be put forward on the consultation list with four other sites. As the sole Liberal Democrat member on that working party I expressed my concerns about Beads Hall being on the list and was a called a NIMBY (Not in my Back Yard) by former Leader Cllr Brandon Lewis.

The matter was discussed at the Policy Panel in March 2009, in confidential session. I spoke quite firmly against the inclusion of Beads Hall Lane but was told that it would be included.

Although Cllr Karen Chilvers and I may have voted in favour of the move to consult, this would only have been because we believed that the Council needed to get on and consult on something. Doing nothing was not an option.

We certainly did not vote to accept Beads Hall Lane should be one of the five sites to accommodate gypsies as stated in the article, having made our views against it very clear. Even if we had voted against the motion, the large Tory majority would have still bulldozed it through.

Beads Hall Lane came back before members for discussion at the first Planning meeting in September. At that meeting I spoke out against it being a possible Gypsy/Traveller pitch and have done so at three other Council meetings which have all been web cast. I have also called for it to be taken off the consultation at a meeting I had with the Leader Cllr Louise McKinlay and at the most recent Gypsy/Traveller Working Party meeting.

I am firmly opposed to Beads Hall Lane being one of the sites for a Gypsy/Traveller pitch and always have been. The residents in Beads Hall Lane are well aware of my views and so are many other residents in Pilgrims Hatch.

It is disappointing that the Brentwood Gazette did not make any mention at all of the Liberal Democrat motion to have the Beads Hall Lane removed from the consultation (which was defeated by the Conservatives) or our strong objection and votes against the planning application which was again voted through by the Conservatives. If these important facts had been included, it would have given the article more balance and reflected more accurately the Liberal Democrat group and ward members' position on this very important issue.

Cllr David Kendall

Pilgrims Hatch Borough Councillor and Liberal Democrat Group Leader