Latest decision beggars belief

Following your story with interest (online March 25) concerning the latest fiasco with the Rocklands Caravan Site and HBC’s planning department to delegate a planning application for several trees to be felled is beyond belief.

With over 50 objections, some very detailed citing a plethora of flaws with this application the council is refusing to let this go to planning committee.

It beggars belief why this council and its planning department have decided to plunge themselves into further controversy with this site while the construction of the infamous ‘bunker’ is still a major issue soon to be subject to a planning appeal .

This too was a delegated decision and for those who have visited the Country 
Park, it is hardly pleasing to the eye.

The problems with this site and the landslip blamed on Rocklands felling some 50 trees has already cost the local taxpayer thousands in reports, surveys and consultants without the planning appeal.

According to the incumbent new planning manager Ms Evans, the council’s constitution wording for planning applications regarding trees are not required to be put before the planning committee.

All very confusing here as Section 44 –Part 8 (a) states: ‘the application has attracted three or more letters of objection from different households or businesses or a petition’.

It should therefore go to committee and not be delegated.

As a point of interest I contacted three other local authorities around the country to see if such applications for tree work would be delegated if there were more than three, or in fact 50, objections.

Those councils in Surrey, Devon and North Yorkshire all said it would have to go to the planning committee.

Why then the preferential treatment with this application and Rocklands, something many people are asking.

As friends of mine have contacted various councillors none will utter a word about Rocklands.

Is there a gagging order on this subject?

Two words spring into to my mind: transparency and democracy.

Richard Heritage

Old Bury Hill Gardens

Westcott

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