Rules may not be adhered to

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THIS week the final public participation will take place before a Planning Inspector for the next Local Plan that will supersede the current 2004 plan.

The few members of the public who have registered will have their input into this document to be the policy for future planning and development in the borough.

It happens to coincide with the recent controversial panning permission in Ashburnham Road where there were more than 100 objections to allow the demolition of a bungalow to build a two-storey house. Here two planning policies were raised (DG7 and DG8) as a reason to reject the application. However, the chairman of the committee Cllr Daniel rebuffed these policies by stating, “People have a right to develop their land.” The issue of the loss of public views to the sea and a two-storey building being wrong for this road was rapidly sunk.

Yet ironically in the introduction to the 2004 Local Plan we have Cllr Daniel’s foreword to this document where he states. ‘This is a working document-The council’s Planning Board (now planning committee) will make regular reference to policies in the plan when making decisions’. It goes on to say how the council will, ‘Protect the best of our green spaces and historic townscapes’.

With an ironic final paragraph, ‘with this shared vision, robust planning polices and commitment to partnership working we can succeed in bringing an improved quality of for everyone’.

Over the years of planning permissions Ashburnham Road is not alone where planning policies have been spurned and development has gone ahead regardless. This new Local Plan has taken more than a year with numerous consultations, several council staff, taxpayers’ money for something that isn’t really adhered to anyway.