Deputy council leader Rock Feilding-Mellen who managed Grenfell Tower refurbishment is director of firm looking to build 300 homes on the outskirts of Norwich
PUBLISHED: 09:39 02 July 2017 | UPDATED: 09:39 02 July 2017
One of the men at the centre of the Grenfell Tower tragedy in London is the director of a company looking to build 300 new homes on the outskirts of Norwich.
Rock Feilding-Mellen, the deputy leader of Kensington and Chelsea Council resigned yesterday (Friday), following the earlier resignation of council leader Nicholas Paget-Brown.
MORE: Concern that London-based developer will appeal as plans for 300 homes in Thorpe Woods, near Norwich, are refused
Mr Feilding-Mellen, 38, was chair of the housing committee and oversaw the £10m refurbishment project of Grenfell Tower, including the fitting of cladding with a flammable core being fitted to the outside of the building.
The Kensington and Chelsea Tenant Management Organisation are understood to have reported directly to Mr Feilding-Mellen during the building work because he is cabinet member for housing, though there is no suggestion he was aware of fire safety failings.
MORE: ‘Disappointment’ after developers submit plan to build 300 houses on outskirts of Norwich
But the councillor also has links in our region, as director of Socially Conscious Capital (SCC), the London-based developers behind a bid to build 300 homes on Racecourse Plantation in Thorpe St Andrew, near Norwich.
At the beginning of June, Broadland District Council’s planning officers turned down the application under delegated authority.
While councillors and campaigners welcomed the refusal, there were concerns that the developer could appeal the decision.
MORE: Thorpe Woods housing plans go on public display
Racecourse Plantation, which forms part of Thorpe Woods off Plumstead Road East, has been used by generations of people in the town.
But had the development gone ahead, it would have resulted in the loss of 10 hectares of woodland.
Refusing the application, Broadland’s head of planning Phil Courtier said the plans would have resulted in a “substantial” reduction in size of the existing woodland.
MORE: What will happen if 300 homes are built on treasured Thorpe woodland?
SCC, meanwhile, said it was “disappointed” with the decision, which it claimed had the support of more than 70 people.
The developer’s planning consultant, Andrew Simpson, added: “We will now take time to review our options and consider our next steps.”
SCC director Mr Feilding-Mellon intends to continue serving as a ward councillor in Kensington and Chelsea, but addressing his resignation as deputy leader in a statement he said: “I have always tried my utmost to meet my responsibilities with integrity, hard work, and a commitment to serving the interests of all residents of the borough.
MORE: “The idea of seeing it all gone is abominable”: Campaigners step up their fight to save Thorpe Woodlands
“It has been suggested several times since the tragic event of the 14 June that I should resign, but until now I have felt that it was my duty to do whatever I could personally to back the council’s efforts to help the fire’s victims, to encourage all of the dedicated officers within the council as they worked tirelessly for the relief effort, and to support the council’s leader.”
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