Thursday, 17 December 2009

Former Council Leader Drops Planning Application

Former Leader of West Lindsey District Council, Cllr. Bernard Theobald, (Wold View Ward), has dropped attempts to build a country house following rejection on appeal the Lincolnshire Echo is reporting.

Cllr. Theobald submitted proposals to develop a five-bedroom property on land he part-owns with colleague Cllr. Stuart Kinch, (Torksey Ward) and their respective wives for £155,000, before drawing up designs to turn the former sawmill site into a residential property at South Owersby in June.

The application was due to go before the council's planning committee with a report recommending it should be approved but was removed after serious concerns were expressed about it. Following the authority's failure to meet a statutory deadline to make a decision, Cllr. Theobald sent an appeal to the Planning Inspectorate. But the former leader has now admitted defeat in his bid to build the property on the land after the Planning Inspectorate dismissed his case.

In the report, case inspector Alison Lea said:
"It is clear the council had concerns in respect of the approach adopted by the planning officer in the report marked draft/incomplete.

"Although the council failed to articulate those concerns in any detail, in my opinion the council did have substantive reasons to justify delaying the determination and this is not a case where development which should clearly have been permitted has been prevented or delayed.

"Indeed, I do not agree with the conclusion reached in the draft/incomplete report and have dismissed the appeal."
Cllr. Theobald said:
"It's a standard format – they look at the planning application, take a view and come to a decision.

"You never know which way it will go. That application has run its course."
BBC Radio Lincolnshire is also reporting that the a planning officer who was suspended by West Lindsey District Council has now resigned from the authority.

At a meeting of Nettleham Parish Council it was reported by Cllr. Malcolm Leaning, Liberal Democrat (Nettleham Ward), that Mr. Ian Dickinson, the Planning Officer who was responsible for the Lincoln Rugby Football Club's planning application had been sacked. The Chairman of the Parish Council, Cllr. Terry Williams pointedly requested that Cllr. Leaning wished the minutes to reflect that Mr. Dickinson had been sacked and Cllr. Leaning confirmed that was what he had been told. The following morning Cllr. Leaning clarified, via email, that:
"Although I repeated what I had been directly told last evening - I now have been informed that Ian Dickinson has left WLDC by ‘mutual agreement’.

"He is briefing the temporary Head of Planning today on his outstanding work which will include the ‘Rugby Club’ application."

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