Calls for planning system change by unhappy Grantham residents

Alan Mallatrat outside his home - the new property will be close to his fence.
Alan Mallatrat outside his home - the new property will be close to his fence.
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Residents in a Grantham street are angry after council officers gave permission for a house to be built, without the proposals being considered by the planing committee.

While decisions on the majority of planning applications are delegated to planning officers if they are not not judged to be contentious, several homeowners in Twyford Gardens say they wrote to the council to complain about the plans.

Eighty-two-year-old Alan Mallatratt sent several letters complaining that the planned house was too close to his home next door, affected his privacy and would increase traffic on the narrow road.

Mr Mallatratt was preparing to speak to the committee, but received a letter saying that planning permission had been given.

He said: “I have to accept that despite doing all I can to stop it, that building will go up. It has been a fait accompli.”

However, Mr Mallatratt is not content with the district’s planning system, which he describes as “unique”, and has contacted Coun Charmaine Morgan, a member of the Development Control Committee.

She agrees on the need for change.

The Labour councillor said: “Councillors should determine what comes to committee. We have the in depth knowledge of the area and are here to represent people’s views.”

“The Labour Group are currently reviewing the constitution, and hope for cross-party support to amend it.”

Another resident of Twyford Gardens, Richard Phillips, said he only heard about the plans from Mr Mallatratt, even though the new access road and house will be opposite his own.

Mr Phillips, 68, said: “We have no say in the area, and everything is just pushed through.

“There was a big problem with getting the road finally finished. Now they are going to come and dig it all up again.”

The district council’s head of development and growth, Paul Thomas, said: “A number of objections were received.

“However no objections were raised by the highway authority or our Environmental Protection Team.

“All the matters raised by the local residents were considered as part of the determination of the application, and appropriate conditions were put in place as part of the outline approval. Details of these conditions will have to be submitted to the local planning authority for approval before building can start.”