On the face of it, Charmaine Morgan’s article under Your Views in last week’s Journal makes chilling reading. She highlights a very worrying development being proposed by the SKDC planning department.
Controversial planning decisions should not be determined behind closed doors by senior planning officers, without local knowledge of issues affecting local residents, parish councils and businesses.
I speak from experience, as approval recommendations for wind turbines have been made by planning officers, subject to conditions that would have left local residents of Carlton Scroop having to consider the effects on the community of a totally unacceptable proposal. If the said proposal had not been refused by committee, it would have been irretrievably allowed.
Good governance should include the inclusion of all the facts and guidelines relative to each case brought before development and control committee meetings, at which time members of the public may attend along with all interested parties.
Hopefully, if any changes in the procedures surrounding planning applications are to be proposed, then they will lead to improved quality of applications in accordance with the SKDC Core Strategy Development Plan, 2010, Supplementary Planning Document (SPD), published guidelines and precedents, legal or otherwise. Elected members would then have the opportunity to vote for or against recommendations in the full knowledge that all the facts relating to each case have been put before them.
Carlton Scroop Hall