Tuesday, 3 November 2009

Giles McNeill Writes to Local Residents' Meeting

Nettleham Parish Councillor, Giles McNeill, has written a letter to a meeting convened by local residents to discuss the Lincoln Rugby Football Club's development proposals and planning permission application. In the letter Giles says:
"To whom it may concern,

"Firstly let me congratulate those responsible for organising this meeting. Democracy is important. Nothing gives our society and community more vibrancy than participation.

"Secondly please let me apologise for not being able to attend in person, unfortunately this meeting has clashed with a Parish Council, Property Committee meeting.

"With regard to the Rugby Club, and let me be clear, in order to have planning permission refused – which I assume is the aim of this group – the objection must be a planning objection. Anyone from anywhere can make a comment on a planning application, either in support of it, or objecting to it, or just making a general observation.

"West Lindsey District Council (who are the planning authority) can only take into account relevant planning considerations, such as: Structure and local plan policies, government planning guidance, planning law and previous decisions, highways safety and traffic issues, noise, disturbance & smells, design, appearance & layout, conservation of historic buildings/ trees and residential amenities/environmental impact.

"The following are examples of issues that are not capable of being taken into consideration: Matters covered by other laws (such as alcohol licensing), Private property rights (such as boundary or access disputes), The applicant’s morals or motives, Suspected future development, Loss of view or Effect on value of property, Personal position of applicant/objector.

"You should further be aware there will be a limited amount of time in which to send comments to the local planning office (West Lindsey District Council). It is very important to meet any deadline or your submission may not be taken into account. If you do decide to make a comment be aware that West Lindsey District Council will not send you an acknowledgement letter unless you request one and have sent a stamped addressed envelope.

"All comments received are made available for public inspection on the application file and cannot be treated as confidential. Letters of comment may be reported to the Planning Committee and if an appeal is made they will be copied to the Secretary of State and the person making the appeal. The Planning Case Officer dealing with the application will consider the issues raised along with all other information about the application.

"Ultimately a report will be prepared by the Planning Case Officer including all the relevant information and a recommendation to either grant or refuse planning permission. The majority of applications, around 91%, are determined under ‘delegated powers’. This means that the Director of Resources has the authority to make the decision based on the information provided by the Planning Case Officer. The remaining 9% of applications are considered by the Planning Committee which meets monthly.

"Applications will go to committee if they have received a significant number of objections, if the Officer’s recommendation is contrary to the issues raised by the objectors, or at the request of a Councillor. Anyone can attend a Planning Committee. All of those people that have made written observations will be notified of the date and time of the meeting and informed how they can become involved should they wish to do so. It is possible to attend committee meetings dealing with planning applications. In many cases members of the public can speak briefly to ensure that the committee is aware of your views.

"You may wish to seek clarification and a guarantee from our District Councillors Malcolm Leaning and Alf Frith to ensure that the decision is going to be put before the Planning Committee and not made by the Director of Resources as has happened at their direction in the past – to the frustration of some of my Parish Council Planning Committee colleagues.

"I hope that this is of some help to you.

"Regards,

"Giles McNeill"

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