Thursday, January 14, 2010

A poor decision in my view.

When I saw a planning application for 2 large houses to be built behind Percy Place to replace one house in perfectly good condition, in the conservation area. I thought that to reject the planning application would be a no brainer.

How wrong was I?

Despite over 30 objections from local residents and Bath Preservation Trust, the planning officer was minded to approve the planning application. So I asked it be be referred to committee for decision, thinking that surely a committee of sensible Councillors (do we exist?) would at least give it a good hearing in public and come to a balanced view.

So the planning officer takes it to the Chair of the Development Control Committee, Cllr Les Kew (find out more about him here if you like) who decided in all his wisdom, and finally replied to me, "It is difficult to decide at times whether to refer apps. to the committee when a request is made and this app. was indeed one of those. However after careful consideration of your request and the history of this site I felt that it was a case for delegation."

Nuts! No justification for his thinking and how one councillor gets to decide that a fair public hearing is not worthy of an application that received so much objection has left me pretty much depressed at the state of democracy to be quite honest.

It's a crazy proposal and a crazy decision to approve it. To round it off despite me speaking personally to The Chair of the Committee who said he would look again at this, and didn't, and despite me chasing the planning officer for information as to progress on this application before he approved, he still did so with no reconsideration. Needless to say I have now lodged a formal complaint. Something that after 7 years as a councillor I thought I'd never have to do.