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0 votes

A strangely sympathetic article which only just about manages to mention the fundamental details that a parish councillor ignored the requirement to submit a planning application / abide by building regs for a business (air B&B) new build in ancient woodland. 

Rather than focus upon the fundamental failure to abide by the very rules & regs he applies when he sits in judgement of other peoples’ dreams and aspirations (planning applications) when his PC comments on the applications of others, he chose to ignore that requirement in pursuit of his own financial gain. 

OK, so he was unwell.  I understand and empathise with that more than most having been through similar myself recently but at no point would I ever have thought to completely ignore the most basic planning requirements on the basis of being unwell.  

This is WRONG on so many levels. 

He should be required to remove the structure (legally achievable) and resign as a parish councillor (not legally achievable.)  This behaviour shames us all as parish councillors since it reenforces through very tangible example - one rule for us another for them  

The planning application is open to view on Cornwall councils planning page and currently displays what appears to be his Facebook friends list of gushing comments of support with only 1 or 2 comments in opposition and noting the fundamental failure of character, integrity and professionalism of a parish councillor. 

What a disgrace.  It has made national media but here is a local media link:

https://www.cornish-times.co.uk/news/father-with-cancer-builds-dream-project-without-permission-569779

by (22.2k points)

2 Answers

0 votes
The fact that he freely admits that he chose not to bother seeking planning permission despite knowing that it was required should make the Council's decision to reject his retrospective application much easier.
by (54.1k points)
It ‘ought’ to be an open / closed case.
Couldn’t be simpler.
Anything other than an absolute refusal and requirement to remove would set a precedent that would see every swinging dick with a parcel of woodland building a log cabin and setting up a Robin Hood lifestyle.
Might be tolerable for the travelling fraternity but anyone else is required to abide by the rules.
0 votes
Sometimes it is wise to step back from making moral judgements and focus on the facts. The councillor is not obliged to resign from the PC despite undertaking development without planning consent. If the local planning authority grant retrospective consent then there is no legal requirement to have it demolished either. Furthermore, as the PC is not a planning authority it is not required to have RTPA accredited planning officers to scrutinize applications.  All that said, the PC would not be out of order by failing to re appoint him to their planning committee.
by (35.5k points)
The facts, as is reportedly quoted by himself, are that he knowingly ignored the requirement to apply for planning consent for a commercial enterprise new build, without PP or bldg regs compliance in an ancient woodland. You don’t need to be a fellow of the The Worshipful Company of Chartered Architects to see that a parish councillor should know better than to overtly flout planning law and that to do so is a flagrant disregard of the Nolan principles.
Never mind black balling him from the planning committee, the absence of Cllr declarations of interest and the latest AGAR return for Morval PC rather illustrates the potential for a notably poorly functioning PC.
I’d be surprised (but not really) if the MO isn’t already taking an interest in the ‘moral component’ of this rather sorry state of affairs.
I agree he should know better than to do what he did, but I suspect that the role of the monitoring officer is limited to investigate breaches of the Parish Council code of conduct rather than adherence to the Nolan Principles. https://www.cornwall.gov.uk/media/puudugpe/local-assessment-of-complaints-procedure.pdf
And the apparent absence of Cllr declaration of interests at the PC and LA web page? (At the time of writing)

It is a legal (and by association) a CoC matter) to fail to have those documents accurately completed, signed (within 28 days of taking office) and published.
The declaration of interests is the very foundation of much that follows in relation to openness, honesty and transparency and it would be a fundamental element of any CoC investigation.
If the is land ownership (an interest) within the parish it must be declared.
It is a legal requirement that it be declared on the declaration.
The absence of a declaration absolutely IS a MO matter

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