In light of Cllr Marilyn Ashton’s critical comments about the decision of the planning committee to approve the redevelopment of a site known as 1 Sudbury Hill, Harrow, (“Concerns about housing scheme”, Your Views, June 4), I welcome an opportunity to state the facts.

Cllr Ashton is critical of the decision to permit development even though I and other members had concerns about traffic access to the site close to a busy junction.

The highways team had already advised planning that they did not have concerns about the traffic arrangements for the proposed development. When the council’s professional staff give advice on planning matters, the planning committee has to be sure of its ground before turning an application down. Also, were the traffic issues significant enough to give up on much-needed new housing in the borough?

After careful consideration of the facts and our concerns about traffic, a majority of us voted for the application after receiving an assurance from the highways officers that they would review the traffic situation one year after the development is built and if there are problems, then traffic management action will be taken. This was minuted as part of the decision.

Cllr Ashton and her three colleagues on the committee seemed content that this site, despite its run down condition, should stay as it is. This was despite the fact that the proposal grows the number of homes in Harrow by 59, and will also provide 13 much-needed affordable homes.

Cllr Ashton seems to believe that Harrow exists in its own world and that we ignore the Government's national planning policy framework, which clearly states the need for more housing, and the Mayor’s London Plan, which requires Harrow to build nearly 600 new homes a year by March 2025.

If Cllr Ashton were still in charge of planning, it’s clear the council would be turning down planning applications on spurious grounds, losing taxpayers’ money on appeals and we would be well short of our housing target leading to a worsening of the housing crisis within the borough, with more overcrowding and bad housing conditions.

I would suggest that Cllr Ashton is the councillor who is confused and she is also blinkered and does not understand the planning policies of the Government and the Mayor of London.

Cllr Barry H Kendler

Lab/Edgware Harrow council