Nathalie, you’re hired

r04-5-1There were sceptical sighs when the news was circulated that Nathalie Lieven had been chosen by the council to investigate what went wrong over the Koko planning decision, which was embarrassingly overturned in the High Court recently.

The blunder under the microscope here is how the potential effect on the long-standing nightclub of having a residential development right next door was not properly relayed to the councillors, who initially approved this recipe for neighbourly awkwardness.

Ms Lieven is a former Labour councillor, and in a whisper or two it’s been wondered how, in all of London, Camden could not find a planning expert without such a back story. After all, the council wants independent, fresh eyes on this, and is under pressure to work out what went wrong, and fix it quickly. The paper trail, however, does not suggest a case of Labour hiring Labour. The choice, by all accounts, came from the chief executive Mike Cooke, rather than the politicians.

“Ms Lieven is a barrister of the very highest integrity,” the council tells any mischief makers, asking about the link. “The fact she was a Councillor in the 1990s will not impact at all on her ability on her duty to make an independent assessment.”

2 Comments on Nathalie, you’re hired

  1. But Lieven QC was the silk who unsuccessfully represented Camden in its HUGELY expensive Judicial Review proceeding on HS2 and the unsuccessful Appeal too – was she not? So, if I’m correct, she has form working (unsuccessfully?) for Camden

    – which should in itself have excluded her from Mike Cooke’s list for an INDEPENDENT inquiry? Just MHO.

  2. She was a councillor 20 years ago – I know that seems only yesterday to whispering Town Hall Kremlinologists, but you’d be hard pressed to find anyone around now who was about then. Btw you use the same pic when ‘John Gulliver’ ran a similar piece on her a decade ago

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