Lack of notification is all too common

THERE were two very interesting letters in last week’s Observer, both relating to the planning processes in this town.

One reader complains about the lack of notification for the application for the erection of a mobile phone mast. The other concerns the vagaries of the planning committee to refuse one application and grant another.

The issue of the lack of notification to the public is nothing new – all too frequently, residents get to hear about an application that directly affects them only from a luckier resident who has received a notification letter.

When a development proposal was submitted for Robsack Meadow in 2008, only 10 residents were informed and yet this application would potentially affect hundreds of local residents who use the site for informal recreational activities.

The second issue is not so clear-cut. As Mrs Barrett so rightly questions in her letter, why are so many planning applications in this town approved despite their total unsuitability while another is rejected for all the same reasons that the others are allowed.

This is called inconsistency – and it has not gone unnoticed by those who attend these planning meetings that the chairman of the planning committee frequently warns his fellow councillors that if they refuse an application, it could go to appeal and cost the council money in legal fees.

Until such time the planning committee has the courage to stand up to these developers and say no, we are going to witness the same situation over and over again, and this is not good news for Hastings.

PATRICIA STEPHENSON

Whittlewood Close

St Leonards