Agenda item

Declarations of Interest


2.1       (a)        Councillor Davis declared that any members of the Majority Party who had or would make representations on the applications on the agenda were his friends.  He also advised that in his capacity as Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Planning it was inevitable and part of his role that he gets to know, meet and talk to leading members of the planning and property industry including landowners and developers and their professional teams such as architects, surveyors, planning consultants, lawyers and public affairs advisers as well as residents, residents associations and amenity groups.  It was his practice to make such declarations.  He stated that it did not mean that they were his personal friends or that he had a pecuniary interest but that he had worked with them in his capacity as Cabinet Member for Planning.


            (b)        He also explained that all four members of the committee are provided a week before the meeting with a full set of papers including a detailed officer’s report on each application together with bundles of every single letter or e-mail received in respect of every application including all letters and e-mails containing objections or giving support. Members of the committee read through everything in detail prior to the meeting - often taking a whole day over the weekend to do so.


            (c)        Accordingly, if an issue or comment made by a correspondent is not specifically mentioned at the meeting in the officers presentation or by members of the committee, because of the need to get through a long agenda, it does not mean that members have ignored the issue as they will have read about it and comments made by correspondents in the papers read prior to the meeting.


            (d)        Councillor Davis stated that in his capacity as Cabinet Member he knows a number of Planning Consultants in Westminster, some of whom were representing the applicants on a number of items of the agenda, including Four Communications, DP9, Savills, DTZ, Turleys and Gerald Eve.


            (e)        Councillor Davis also declared that in his capacity as the Cabinet Member for the Built Environment with specific responsibility for planning he regularly met with developers as part of the City Council’s pre-application engagement with applicants.  This was wholly in accordance with normal protocols and the terms set out in the Localism Act 2011 and as amplified in the Communities and Local Government Guidance document “A Plain English Guide to the Localism Act”.


            (f)         The meetings held with applicants and in some case objectors too are without prejudice and all parties are advised that a final formal decision is only taken when all the facts are before him and his Committee through the normal planning application process.


            (g)        Councillor Davis made the following further declarations as they related to the specific applications on the agenda:


            (h)       With regard to Item 1 Temple Station Garden Bridge, he had had meetings with the applicants.  He also had meetings with some of the objectors.  He knew Thomas Heatherwick the Designer and Architect, Joanna Lumley and senior members of TfL.

            (i)         Regarding Item 2, he made the same declaration as Item 1.


            (j)         Item 3, Park Crescent, he knew Sir Stuart Lipton and his family who are involved with the applicants.  He had had a meeting with the applicants, the applicant’s representatives DP9 and I know the Architects.


            (k)        Item 4, Savile Row, he knows the Directors of Derwent Valley Central Ltd.  He had had meetings with the applicants.  He knows the applicant’s agents Gerald Eve and the applicant’s architects Stanton Williams.


            (l)         Item 5, Queen Annes Gate:  This has been to the committee on a previous occasion.  He had had meetings with the applicants and he knows their representatives Four Communications.


            (m)       Item 6, 33 Horseferry Road:  He knows the applicants from other applications that have been before the Council on previous occasions.  He had had meetings with applicants in respect of this site and other sites.  He knows the applicant’s agents Gerald Eve and he knows the applicant’s Architects.


            (n)        Item 7, Egginton House, Buckingham Gate: He knows the applicants Dukelease who have made other applications on other properties in Westminster.  He had had meetings with the applicants about this site.  He also confirmed that he knows the applicant’s consultants, Savills and the Architect.


            (o)        Item 8, Ingram House:  he has had meetings with the applicants.  He           knows the applicant’s agents, Savills and knows the Architect.


            (p)        Item 9, 85 Piccadilly:  The matter has been to Committee on previous occasions.  He knows the applicant’s representatives Turleys and Four Communications.


            (q)        Item 10, Inverness Terrace:  This is in his ward.


            (r)         Item 11, 3 Orme Square:  This is in his ward.  This has been to the Committee on previous occasions.  He had meetings with the applicants, not on this application but on the Principal application and he knew the applicant and knows the main objectors and the Architect.


2.2       Councillor Tim Mitchell declared that any members of the Majority Party who had or would make representations on the applications on the agenda were his friends.  He also advised that in his capacity as a Ward Councillor for St James’s he had regular contact with landowners, developers and their agents on proposals which included some of the developers who had applications on the committee’s agenda including Gerald Eve, Four Communications and DP9 and Savills.


            He added that Items 1, 2, 5, 7 and 8 were in his ward.  On Item 7 he had received a presentation about this application and also received representations from local residents.  Items 9 and 11 had been to the Committee before.


2.3       Councillor Susie Burbridge declared that any members of the Majority Party who had or would make representations on the applications on the agenda were her friends.  She also declared that she had received hospitality from developers, planners, consultants, architects, landowners and persons with planning interests as well as residents and amenity groups.  She had visited the site for Item 9 and Items 10 and 11 were in her ward.


2.4       (a)        Councillor David Boothroyd declared that he is Head of Research and Psephology for Thorncliffe, whose clients are companies applying for planning permission from various local authorities. No current clients are in Westminster; if there were he would be precluded from working on them under the company’s code of conduct. He do not deal directly with clients or other members of project teams.


            (b)        He is aware that some clients have hired planning consultants who are also representing applicants tonight: DP9 on item 3, Gerald Eve on items 4 and 6, Savills on items 7 and 8, Turley on item 9, and Montagu Evans on item 10. There is no financial link between the planning consultants and his employers.


            (c)        In relation to item 4, he declared that the building was used as a principle location for the TV series ‘The Sandbaggers’ in 1978-80; as he especially liked that series.  He am duty bound to record that as a personal interest.


            (d)        In relation to item 5, he is a friend of Graeme Cottam who is one of the objectors and owns a building adjoining the site.  He was a member of previous committees deciding applications relevant to items 6, 9 and 11.