The Planners(30 Posts)
Anyone one else love this program?
Nothing like a controversial planning application to get people up in arms.
Some of it is so petty and sets neighbour against neighbour, but does make good TV.
Ooo yes! The woman in the first episode who said she refuses everything was awful.
I can't believe the way the Chair behaved for Rebecca's committee, or the way it was pushed through so fast.
The Rochdale bit at the end depresses me a bit. Planners are professionals and yet their recommendations are being over ruled for political gain.
The Rochdale decision looked very dodgy to me. It may have been edited to look like that but it hasn't done the council any favours.
But there are lots of decisions out there that are political and pay no attention to the advice provided by Officers.
Political decisions are one thing, but the way the Chair was behaving wasn't good by preventing discussion against the scheme and being dismissive to the Officer. But that might be the editing.
Councilors so often make decisions with very little background knowledge - not just in planning, but generally.
She comes across as very knowledgable and sensible. Can't believe they ignored her.
Must admit to knowing the wonderfully named Phil Skill slightly, so great to seeing behind the scenes in Stroud.
I've watched this series and generally agreed with the decisions taken by the committees. The Rochdale case upset me though. The chair was a bully and I did feel she had been got at by the mosque applicants or was involved with the mosque. It was a contentious plan that she refused to allow debate on.
Yes the muslims needed a mosque, that didn't mean it had to be that design with no parking spaces. They should have refused and got them to draw up new plans. Just because the area is grotty and quiet at night now doesn't mean it will be in 25 years time, especially if the mosque gets much more popular and they rent out rooms during the day for weddings etc.
I hope Rebecca appeals. It left a nasty taste in my mouth, if elected councillors put the future of their jobs ahead of the long term needs of their whole community then they shouldn't be on planning committees.
I do worry about untrained councillors (yes I know they have some training but not professionally like the planners) being able to over turn planners decisions .
A typical example was in one of the first programmes - neighbours having rear extension which would 'impact' on old ladies light in back room .
The planning application was recommended for approval by planners - no light loss, height etc of extension was ok - but it had to go to committee . It was approved at committee but one of the councillors who voted against it said she voted against it because basically it would have been very nice for the old lady ! How can she justify that when all planning criteria and light issues have been addressed !
I suppose I speak from having this done to ourselves by councillors - had a planning application recommended for approval by planners - it was referred to committee because neighbour objected etc - got refused by the councillors but we subsequently won on appeal - not only money spent byus but a waste of time for public officials/ employees .
The system is not perfect and I thought the committee meeting last night in Rochdale for the mosque was awful - although I suppose some editing may have been involved.
Soon complain when a child is killed by a lorry one day
Rebecca can't appeal - there is nothing to appeal. The decision has been made to grant and that's it. The only thing that can be done is to challenge it legally - but that's potentially very costly and you need appropriate grounds to do it on, and this is only normally done by major objectors... certainly not the Planning Officer.
OK, in previous programmes they had talked of developers appealing when committees refused permission so I presumed planning officers could do the same. Presume Rebecca just has to know she tried to do her best and watch the fall out when the area is clogged with parked cars and mosque users complain it's unsafe walking there and when the area's developed locals complain it's an ugly building in the future.
What happened to building beautiful buildings that glorify God?
Apparently that's not necessary!
Yes, applicants can appeal if they've been refused.. but stopping something that's been permitted is very different, and certainly not something an employee of the Council is going to fight for!
Cost us £1k to appeal. We employed someone to do it on our behalf. - you only have one chance ! Really annoying but money well spent but totally unnecessary when planners had recommended approval.
Needless to say I did not vote for the councillor who pushed it to committee
£1k is not much compared to some appeal costs that run into the £100ks
I found it very interesting.
I can't believe they got the mosque extension as is. I thought the parking is mandatory?
very happy for the brownfield people so sensible and also for the shed and fence, though I know it's edited and doesn't show everything.
Well, the parking is the 'policy' but the Councillors decided to ignore the policy and permit it for other reasons.
The trouble is that, with lots of decisions, the situation is not black or white, but shades of grey in between.
I thought the mosque permission was a joke. The council leader was a bully who wouldn't allow the matter to be discussed fully and was really rude to both the planning officers and fellow councillors. She also cited the lateness of the hour as a reason for curtailing discussion - how convenient. I was seething by the end.
Pleased for the brownfield site people and not too sure about the shed - don't think I be keen if it was close to me.
As an aside last night an application to knock down a perfectly habitable bungalow (which I would be happy to live in)in a cul de sac to provide access to a field to build 23 houses was granted despite massive outcry by local residents and all the local councillors voting against it. The non local councillors passed it despite never visiting the site. If you have land behind you you are no longer safe even if your development was completed years ago (40 in this case).
I love this series not least because one of the featured councils is where I live. We have recently had a change to a unitary authority which has no written plan to address government building targets - ie where to build, how many houses are already being built, how many more are needed etc. its like the Klondike at the moment with speculative applications going in for agricultural land in semi rural areas (big bucks) with brown field sites (small potato) in need of development being left to rot. The council can oppose but if they reject plans they are taken to the high court where they lose and have to pay - 80k last time. Consequently, there are 300 new homes being constructed currently in my village, half on agricultural land with pp in for another 100 on agricultural land and local knowledge that that developer had already bought more agricultural land so likely to be more to come! To get pp for the 300 under construction already, the developer had to pay for two porta cabins at the school as it is already full?!
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