A Planning Brief for Medina House
23 September 2012…..The petition and epetition signatures already presented to the Planning Committee on August 8th were re-presented to the Economic Development and Culture Committe on Thursday, 20th September. No new signatures were gathered to add to the pile.
It was a disgrace to have to go after the Council for its dismissive ‘noted’ response with nothing else offered on the 8th of August to let us know one way or the other if a planning brief was possible.
Achieving the response we finally got on Thursday took many emails, a public question to Planning that was refused by its Administrator and forwarded to Economic Development and Culture, and a Freedom of Information request to know what happens to ‘noted’ petitions, ours in particular.
The FOI seems to have come as a shock to them because an instant email from Jeanette Walsh, the Development Control Manager, hit the saveHOVE email inbox, almost by return, complaining that it had not been necessary to go to FOI and informing us that the petition would be answered on the 20th of September at Economic Development and Culture. This was of course the reply that Cllr Hawtree could and should have been advised to give us on August 8th and a reply went back saying so.
It is depressing to note what games were played with us. Cllr Hawtree was not able to provide petitioners with an answer about whether or not a planning brief could be provided, but according to Democratic Services, it was “in his gift” to inform the Central Ward Local Action Team on 10th September that a planning brief is being prepared. If all we’d been told was not a fob-off, then he was in breach of protocols, usurped the authority of the Chair of the Economic Development and Culture Committee and owes us all an apology for his actions.
He was free to tell any and everyone except the petitioners whether or not the request for a planning brief could be complied with!
Cllr Geoffrey Bowden, Chair of Economic Development and Culture confirms we are to have the requested Planning Brief. It is now in preparation for a late autumn public consultation ahead of adoption. No firmer date than “late autumn” could be provided. The public question then became redundant and was withdrawn.