Saturday June 19 2021



In Full . . .

Appeal for democracy

Posted on April 29 2019 at 1:22:04

Please let me clarify, after a recent experience, what I would do if I felt I had good reason to object to the planning application to build a house immediately in the vicinity of my property, and why.

Despite guidelines to protect greenfield space, villages and individuals, such protection leaves open the opportunity for guidelines to be ignored or circumvented.

This is especially true should your objection go just to planning officers (professionals) without the knowledge of your district councillor on the planning committee.

In such a case you will find a final decision can be made behind closed doors with no minutes taken, no appeal and no redress.

It is only your ward district planning committee councillor, in the knowledge of the application, who has the power to call a full planning committee that will allow you a few minutes to discuss your objections, although their decision is final. All this has to be done within 21 days.

It’s true that you can make an appeal to the Secretary of State but I would strongly suggest that anyone contemplating such a move seeks legal advice and ensures they have very deep pockets.

The country has to have new houses but planning decisions can seriously affect the quality of life for  many people, often causing considerable distress. The very least is to expect they be made in a democratic way.

When a letter is sent informing residents of a planning application, it’s essential that it includes details  of the relevant parish council and elected ward planning councillor. Both need to be informed.

I have been working with our parish council to seek a solution. Then at least those affected would be aware of who to contact should they wish to object, thus ensuring the final decision and responsibility lies with elected district councillors, the way it should be.

John Williams, Rowney Green

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