- Published on Monday, 02 March 2015 22:22
- Written by Stanwick VRG
So.. at the back end of January we reported that the planning decision by ENDC had been deferred until 18 February 2015. This was so that Gladman could get their act together because they were disputing certain issues, having read the feedback from interested parties, all of which had been loaded onto the ENDC website.
Now, don't misunderstand us on this next point but there's something a little bit awry here. Consider the fact that we, as a community, were instructed to offer our objections to this proposal and we fulfilled those obligations as requested, and on time. Given that fact, isn't it only just and reasonable that when the ‘window of opportunity ’ is closed, it is closed to everyone? Once everyone has had their chance to voice their opinions and state their views, isn't it only right that at that point a decision is made?
Of course it is! That's the democratic process isn't it? You're given the evidence, you make your noises about it, you state your point and you shut up and wait for a decision to be made.
Imagine our concern therefore when we were advised that there is now a further delay - yes, a second deferral - which means that this will not be discussed by ENDC until March 11th 2015. These delays are not due to unavailability of key decision-makers; rather they are because the council requested that Gladman address certain issues in their application - essentially giving them more time to resolve technical planning issues arising from their application. So, did Gladman mess up their application? Sounds like it to us!
The Planning officer has informed us that there will likely be a recommendation of rejection, having whittled down the long list of objections that were raised to just two key issues; one of legality within the local framework, and a second of spoiling of the natural beauty of the area involved. Thankfully, ENDC and we know that neither of these issues can be affected by Gladman but we think we know Gladman well by now... they will not take these two issues lying down so to speak and if rejected we fully expect the matter to proceed to appeal.
In our opinion Gladman are being given another bite of the cherry to get things right for themselves - they must be absolutely overjoyed! If this is democracy, then it is something of a disgrace - where was Stanwick's opportunity to look at what Gladman were doing in the past few weeks? Surely, if they got their application wrong in the first place it should have been rejected, because it is wrong!
We wonder if we as members of the community were to submit a flawed application, how quickly that application would FAIL. What do you think are the chances of being offered an opportunity to re-submit without cost penalty, or another public consultation period?
We have been deeply frustrated as a community group by this whole, ridiculous extension situation. We have asked questions of our local MP, Andy Sawford, and we know that he has voiced his concerns to the council. It must be said that Andy has been totally supportive of our situation throughout. With elections being imminent we were worried what impact 'that timing' might have on this whole story but, regardless of the colours we support individually, our local MP has been at our side all along.
So, what next? Today (2nd March 2015) all objectors will have recieved a letter from ENDC announcing the timing of the meeting on March 11th. The letter reflects that the officer's report should appear with a matter of days on the planning website and as soon as this appears, we will provide a link to it to make it easier for everyone.
As for the meeting itself, we are allowed just a single speaker from the objectors at this meeting and we certainly plan to have such a representative of SVRG to speak at this meeting on behalf of the community.
Likewise, a single person can speak on behalf of Gladman (or their representative or supporter) and one for the Parish Council; we can only hope for that our voice is heard loud and clear in the face of Gladman's tour-de-force...mind you it would not surprise SVRG if Gladman didn't even bother to turn up. From experience in other areas, when there is a large contingent of objectors, Gladman don't attend these meetings... Take from that whatever you will...
If you can attend, please do - strength in unity.