There was chaos @ last night's Major Planning meeting at Hornton St. when it looked like the multi million pound Peter Jones Clearings redevelopment was going to unravel at literally the last hurdle. The entire committee agreed that the plans and designs were of a high quality and once it was established that should the existing school be listed the whole project would fall, enthusiastically supported the proposal to create a temporary school building in the Clearings building while Marlborough School is entirely rebuilt.
However when the representatives of Peter Jones then assured the Major Planning Committee that they had secured the support of the Council's legal team for their unusual £26m escrow arrangement, the Council's legal representative in the form of the extremely able and highly respected Heidi Titcombe flatly contradicted them.
The Peter Jones representatives then shifted their ground by stating that they had had assurances from 'senior officers' that the escrow arrangement was satisfactory.
Peter Jones were then unable or unwilling to name the officer who had misled them.
Meanwhile Mr Bore whispered advice into the ear of Chair Paul Warrick like the snake Kar in Jungle book hissing "Trust in me" when clearly the committee most certainly did not !
The public disagreement then led to an embarrassing 20 minute adjournment while officers met privately to agree a face saving form of words to obscure the disagreement.
The proposal was then voted through on a very narrow 4 v 3 vote of Councillors .
One Cllr was then overheard to comment that "Only Jonathan Bore's leadership could have so nearly snatched defeat from the jaws of victory and caused such an important application to which no residents association objected and with a design which was unanimously praised by the committee to then be put in jeopardy "
This latest fiasco has arisen while the Basement limitations struggle becomes ever more sour and the Holland Park School public access to facilities row turns into farce .
Can things in planning get any worse?