The United Kingdom Centre for Medical Research and Innovation

Which councillors voted which way? | December 19, 2010

19 December 2010

Mr Nasim Ali


Camden Council

CC all other Camden Councillors

     Neil MacDonald (Planning Officer)

Dear Mr Ali,

Development Control Committee 16 12 2010 Town Hall 7.00 pm

Subject: The granting of planning permission to ULCMRI for a research centre on land behind the British Library. (The discussion of the planning application a ran approximately between 7.15-9.45 pm) (Application Ref: 2010/4721/P, Associated Ref: 2009/2565/NEW)

You will see from the copies of emails below that Ms Scott-Sawyer  says the following:

1. That the individual votes of councillors are not recorded.

MPs and members of the Lords have their votes  identified , so why do Camden councillors not abide by the same democratically necessary procedure?  I say democratically necessary, because unless members of the public  can readily check which way councillors have voted, they  cannot be held to account.

As for expecting members of the public to pick up votes from the recording made of  council  meetings,  this presupposes that (1) members of the public will be able to identify every councillor by sight  and (2) all those voting  will always  be clearly shown on the recording, something I would doubt.  It is also a fact, as witnessed during the DCC meeting dealing with UKCMRI’s application,  that those chairing  meetings  frequently fail to clearly identify speakers in debates or to announce who has voted.

I ask that you determine who voted and which way  and to let me have the details ASAP

2.  That a challenge can be mounted to a planning decision if an irregularity in making the decision can be demonstrated.

 I have already done that in my email to you of the 17th December, namely, that my demonstration of illicit interference with the bidding process Gordon Brown was omitted from the Council Officers’ report which guided the committee members and the false claim in that document (repeatedly verbally at the hearing) that there was no chance of Level 4 biohazards being  used in the proposed research centre.

Please inform me of any official procedure for making a challenge to the granting of planning permission on the grounds of irregularity. If my email to you of 17 December is sufficient, please treat that as a formal challenge.

Yours sincerely,

Robert  Henderson


To: Levita House, Chalton Street, London NW1 1HR Tel: 0207 387 5018     

17 12 2010

Simone Scott-Sawyer

Committee Services

Camden Council

Town Hall


Dear Ms Scott-Sawyer,  

Development Control Committee Meeting 16 12 2010 7.00 pm

Please supply me ASAP with the names of the councillors who voted to grant planning permission for the UKCMRI  research centre  and details how of each councillor voted.  

I also seek your advice on what the procedure is to appeal against this decision. Had planning permission been refused, the appeal (if any) by the consortium would have been to the Mayor of London then to the relevant minister. Does this procedure apply also to those who wish to oppose the granting of the permission?

 If you have any details of specific appeal procedures in these present circumstances please send me copies by email or direct me to a site where I can download them.

 As you will see from my address, I am one of the people most directly affected by this decision, the site being approximately 40 feet from my front window.

 Yours sincerely,

 Robert Henderson


 To: “robert henderson” Dear Mr Henderson,

All the members of the Development Control committee were present and voting except for Cllrs Leach and Neumark. I can also tell you that 8 voted in favour, 4 voted against and 1 abstained. I’m afraid we do not record the details of how each Cllr voted. To obtain this information, you may wish to view the webcast of the meeting which can be accessed via our website on This is usually available 48 hours after the meeting took place.

Where residents are unhappy with a planning decision, unless you can show that there was some irregularity in the planning decision process, there is limited recourse available, as you cannot launch an appeal based on the merits of the case. However, you can seek a judicial review from the High Court and my advice would be to instruct a lawyer who would be able to advise you further.


Simone Scott-Sawyer

Principal Committee Officer

Telephone: 020 7974 5980


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