Thursday, 12 August 2010

Do YOU trust the private sector? Or, the Astonishing story of Princess Park Manor's illegal East Wing

There's an astonishing story here of a property developer, Comer Group, completely flouting planning permission, to put 83 flats into an old building when it said it would put 64 in. And getting away with it, eventually, after a long, legal battle with Barnet council, and on pain of making a pay-off of £4 million - "towards affordable homes", the headline on the article says.

It really makes you despise the private sector, who are, after all, in most things only for the money and not for the good they might do.

The inhabitants who have been trying to enjoy their "luxury" rabbit hutches for the past few years while the development was in legal limbo - all but one of them - finally come out of the affair unscathed, at least.

P.S. I think the offending development is featured here on the front page of the Comer Homes website!

P.P.S. They're not short of a bob or two, are Brian and Luke Comer, who set up Comer Group. They were 1,203 on the Sunday Times rich list in 2009.


hammond's Lot said...

There are serious questions to ask of the Planning Department. These planning breaches seem to be a regular occurence in Barnet. Given the type of Administration we have elected over the past few years, seems the Planning Department is extremely one eyed more often than not and reacts a bit late in the day. Why?

Just think what that whole project is worth to the developer and in return Barnet is awarded a paltry £4 million seen as a significant benefit (probably towards Cllr Cornelius's pay rise ). How many "affordable council homes" will be built for our re-defined waiting lists. Imagine what significant benefits the lost £40 million pounds would have brought.

Here is how property developers are going to get richer by becomimng landlord with taxpayers money:

Anonymous said...

The Comer Group that's ironically Barnet Council's landlord at North London Business Park

Citizen Barnet said...

Conflict of interest, I would say. Don't want to give them a hard time in case they put the rent up!