Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Carmarthenshire Planning - Ignoring it's own Rules

This week's Llanelli Star reports that Carmarthenshire's Planning and Legal Departments are ignoring it's own rules;

The council in Carmarthenshire has been accused of riding roughshod over its own planning rules by allowing a developer to build new homes before addressing potential flooding risks.

Campaigner Delme Phillips is against putting the 137-home estate on around four hectares of land which consists of St Michael's school playing fields and open pasture land off Heol-y-Mynydd Road in Bryn.
The 62-year-old, who lives around 100 yards from the proposed site, said he and other residents feared sewage and drainage problems, as well as increased traffic if the scheme was given the go-ahead.
However the plans, submitted by Asbri Planning, on behalf of Barratt Homes, were approved by the council's planning committee last July, with a condition being that "a detailed scheme for the removal of highway surface water from the combined sewer is submitted, the implementation of which to be secured by a Grampian condition".
The imposing of such a condition means the development cannot start until works required off-site have been completed.
So Mr Phillips said he was angered to see contractors for Barratt Homes begin work on the site last month, apparently without the required drainage work being done.
On further investigation, he was shocked to discover the council had mysteriously changed tack.
In a letter to the Star, Mr Phillips explained: "I obtained a copy of the full planning permission issued to Barratt Homes and signed by EW Bowen, head of planning.

"The condition quoted above has been ignored, but, even more alarmingly, condition nine of the permission issued to Barratt Homes totally alters that condition's requirements. This is a condition that completely overturns the wishes of the planning committee.
"I have written to the chief executive of Carmarthenshire Council, the head of law and the head of planning due to the urgency of this issue and have pointed out that I believe that the changing/ignoring of the planning condition is illegal."

But Carmarthenshire Council senior solicitor Steven Murphy said the authority had acted within the law.
He said: "The head of planning has authority to amend and/or add conditions in relation to applications approved by the planning committee in these circumstances."


Anonymous said...

Here we go again.If this application was for one person they would immediately have enforcement served on them.This is a large development yet Eifion Bowen has recklessly it seems dispensed with the decision of the democratically elected planning committee and allowed the developer to proceed regardless of any problems that might arise.
Not surprising though as I understand it is the norm.Only the little people get served enforcement. Where is the Environment Agency in all this?

Photon said...

Maybe you should look at what lessons can be learned from the 'Anglesey Experience' (no, it's not a tourist attraction!)

caebrwyn said...

@anonymous Quite right, sadly it is the norm and @photon, I have been following events in Anglesey - it will be interesting to see if the new 'A Team' make a difference - if no one acts soon in Carmarthenshire we are going to end up with the same problem - it is starting to become very obvious and cannot be ignored much longer - although I have very little faith in the Welsh Assembly to act effectively, if at all.
There is a very unpleasant can of worms here which needs to be opened and I am determined that, eventually, it will.

Anonymous said...

Taxpayers should be aware by now, with all they read about this 'out of control' authority, that writing to the Chief Exec., and legal, pays no dividends as they all close ranks to look after one another, however dubious and suspect decisions are. These public servants run CCC as tho it is their own personal business. This is also why they will wilfully use dirty slanderous tactics against members of the public if they dare question them. They take it personally. Why wouldn't they, it interferes with cosy deals. Read the 'Sting' on the forum, that explains all. Wake up councillors. Oh, sorry, they are awake, just want to keep under the radar.