Fringe Box



Letter: It Was No Wonder Residents Were Irate at the Ockham Planning Meeting

Published on: 25 Nov, 2016
Updated on: 25 Nov, 2016
Cllr Moseley, at the April 6th meeting, issuing the erroneous instruction that it was prohibited for the public to record the meeting without prior permission.

Cllr Moseley, at the April 6th planning meeting.

From Ben Paton

If the public were unruly, noisy and rude at the Guildford Borough planning meeting in April, when they were described by the chair as a “bloody rabble”, consider this:

The public has had to put up with a developer which has submitted at least five applications to change the use of agricultural land in Ockham – in defiance of all applicable planning law.

The development in question will destroy the quality of life of residents in Ockham and the surrounding villages by inflicting some 15 years of development chaos, permanent closures of several local roads, accentuation of already chronic traffic congestion in the rush hour, and permanent damage to the environment.

The developer’s application is riddled with factual inaccuracies about the land and the environmental and traffic consequences of development.

The only ‘exceptional circumstance’ that the developer has come up with is that the land has been allocated within the draft local plan. This raises serious questions about the independence and impartiality of the local planning authority.

In all the circumstances residents have had to put up with considerably more abuse than the chairman of the meeting. If the council adopted a more rational evidence based approach instead of its high handed Czarist, “We are the State and you are the vassals,” approach, the public would behave appropriately.

The council has fallen over backwards to provide encouragement and assistance to the developer – not least by means of two years of pre-application advice. The public is rightly concerned that the local planning authority is more interested in fulfilling ‘quotas’ for housing, passed down from central government, than in impartially applying planning law.

It is only because the developer and the council sought to abuse the Local Plan process and to browbeat the public with mountains of paperwork and bogus reasoning that the public has grown irate.

It is not the public that needs to ‘get over themselves’. It is the chairman who needs to climb off her extremely high horse and look at the world from the perspective of the residents.

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Responses to Letter: It Was No Wonder Residents Were Irate at the Ockham Planning Meeting

  1. Jim Allen Reply

    November 25, 2016 at 5:01 pm

    Hear, hear.

  2. Jules Cranwell Reply

    November 25, 2016 at 6:25 pm

    I could not have put it better. When councillors feel they are above those they are elected to represent, it is wrong on so many levels.

    When will she resign?

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