I ATTENDED a Wakefield planning and highways committee meeting the other week and watched our elected councillors probe a planning application diligently. Their inquiries found the plans sufficiently deficient to defer a decision on the matter.
Naturally, as a resident directly affected by these plans, I was delighted by the decision, and given hope that should we find more damaging material, the plans could be rejected at the next committee.
However, the developer was unhappy with this decision, even though it was democratically arrived at and has appealed directly to the Secretary of State for a resolution to the matter.
Such an appeal will of course short circuit the local authority’s decision-making process and circumvent over 600 local objections to these plans.
The planning inspectorate, based in Bristol, will be tasked with the job of reaching a decision, if we are fortunate, we may yet get a chance to put our case to it.
Statistically, one in three such appeals favour the appellant, so I suppose the fine line between victory and defeat is probably in our favour.
Dr David Foster