Man refuses to leave meeting

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A PLANNING meeting had to be temporarily adjourned after a boisterous member of the public refused to leave the chamber during a debate over a controversial application.

Don Wise, of Hastings Badger Preservation Society, was asked to leave the meeting during discussions about a site in Clive Vale.

Mr Wise eventually left the town hall chamber after a security guard arrived and chairman Godfrey Daniel restarted proceedings after a 10-minute break.

Members had been debating an application by Park Lane Investment Properties to build a split-level, three-bedroom house with an integral garage in Hornbeam Heights cul-de-sac.

Residents argued the site is unstable and of ecological importance and no proper survey had been carried out.

Ron Pickup, of Park Lane Investments said, the land had already been stabilised in the 1970s and the plans would have no impact on nearby homes.

Hawthorn Area Residents Association spokesman, Bob Okines, addressed the meeting and argued an ecological survey had to be carried out.

He said: “Hornbeam Heights was built on the back of a resurrected 1976 planning application.

“The final build is nothing like the original design. There were no conditions imposed relating to the ecology of the site.

“Any concerns the residents or local ecologists raised about the local wildlife were totally dismissed by the planning department and borough ecologist.

“This application must be considered under its own merits including a full ecological survey.

“It beggars belief this application has been allowed to come to this committee without a single mention of the land stability history of this site.

“In December 1975 part of Pinders Shaw house and the public footpath at Pinders Walk collapsed. In 1978 a retaining wall collapsed.

“In 1986 and 1988 the escarpment collapsed and in 1991 a huge boulder rolled down the side of it and crashed into a retaining wall.

“This year huge excavations are taking place on the northern site to stabilise it. All this has happened only a few metres away from this application site yet no one will listen to the concerns of the local populous.”

Councillor Michael Wincott asked if there had been no ecological survey how would officers know there were no badgers on the site.

Councillor Matthew Beaver agreed that a new ecological study should be carried out.

Councillor Peter Pragnell suggested planning permission be granted if his proposed amendment to conditions was agreed by members.

The condition stated that no development will take place until a full and adequate site investigation and full soils report was submitted to the council.

Members voted six to four in favour of accepting the new motion.