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0 votes
I have had ongoing problems with my PC since complaining about a yearly event they hold next door to me which caused injury to livestock (and is likely to again).

They have lied, refused to negotiate and been obstructive with communication.

I have given up trying to deal with the original problem but put in for planning for a sand school on my land. This was discussed formally along with a big development at their meeting  and no less than six conditions requested. Now compared with applications for new houses on similar land next door which attracted no comments from them- am I right in assuming this is more of their petty behaviour? And I guess there is no point in going to the monitoring officer?
by (200 points)

4 Answers

+1 vote

I would stress that any comments submitted by any individual carries the exact same weight as a Parish Council. They are consultees (and to be blunt most LPAs Planning Officers attatch very little weight to them at all) I wouldnt worry too much what they think or say as they have such a limited role in the planning process. 

The MO won't do anything as you can't prove assertion even if it is likely you are right (heck based on down here they could literally throw things at people and wouldnt do anything)   

by (8.5k points)
Thank you, yes it’s the unfairness that gets to me. Two other (bigger) applications pretty much put in at the same time in fields next door and no comment from them. This is my punishment for sticking my neck out I guess.
The answer above is not entirely accurate on 2 specific points.
Council consultee comments are NOT exactly the same as public comments since council comments to “support” or “oppose”, if they differ from a delegated officer intention, DO activate a 5 day protocol which requires the local council to review their submission and adopt 1 of 3 positions - maintain the objection and provide valid reasons for doing so (might include seeking local member support for calling the application for planning committee consideration), reverse the support or objection based upon case officer advice or “agree to disagree” with the case officer.
This protocol is NOT activated with public comments so it is evident that local council comments are NOT simply the same as public comments.
That said, I would agree (based upon personal experience) that local council consultee comments are often poorly considered, inappropriate and therefore dismissed by planning case officer.
In regards to a complaint - you can complain about an individual Cllr, you cannot complain (to the MO) about a decision of the council.
I can agree with the principle that planning case officer is likely to see through petty and inappropriate local council pettiness.
You can Google search the principles of planning conditions, they must be

Relevant to planning
Relevant to the development permitted
Reasonable in all other respects

And it is for the planning case officer NOT the local council to impose planning conditions.
I've never heard of the 5-day protocol. That may just be local to you.
I have no idea which of the councillors it is but the clerk has been very obstructive and lied. I have given up on doing anything, the MO was contacted about them three months ago and not replied.
It may well be a local protocol Dave - I refer to Cornwall local planning authority which is the biggest LPA (by area) in the UK and which accepted the most planning applications of any LPA in the UK (2022 figures) so I’m going to take a reasonable assumption that they know and follow good practice.
Maybe, CC is delivering a standard that other LPAs should aspire to and maybe it falls to those with a potential grievance, such as that expressed in the OP, and to regional town and parish councils to press their LPA to mirror CCs template which is explained rather well in the attached briefing note:

Essentially, the point under discussion was whether local council and public comments on a planning application carry the same weight and, regardless of the 5 day protocol, I would still maintain (through personal experience as a local Cllr, former PC chair AND a Planning Portal planning champion) that local council submissions, in a representative democracy, and providing they are credible and relevant, do actually carry greater significance than an individual public submission.
I can only speak for my own LPA when I reference process and procedure and it is rare that I would be in a position to champion CC as being at the forefront of good practice.
+1 vote
I would say that the people who matter will see through this pettiness.  Although easier said than done, I would let this wash over you, stick to the rules, and get on with the rest of your life!
by (10.1k points)
You are right- it seems such an abuse of power but there is no oversight of that it seems. Small village with the same people running everything, I will make sure I don’t get in to escalating it.
+1 vote
Causing injury to livestock may constitute an offence. You may wish to discuss this with the appropriate authorities.
by (53.3k points)
Tried all of that, got nowhere. It’s been the most frustrating, unbelievable time. Because I have been seen as an outsider, going against a tradition I have really paid for it. The local police wouldn’t even view the video evidence.
+1 vote
Would you share the PA number and LPA so that we can view the PC comments / request for conditions?
by (21.3k points)
I won’t risk it as already feeling quite harassed by them and their supporters. It all looks quite petty written down but it’s got so unpleasant. The land we want to put the sand school on is part of a larger area that was split years ago. There are two applications on the rest of the land for much larger builds. One passed without any comment and the other is now beyond the consulted response. They spoke about our very minor request at a public meeting, asked for six conditions and I know it’s because of personal dislike.
The clerk has been particularly rude to me in the past and it frustrated me that there is very little I can do about it.
I do understand - I’ve spoken to many people that have very justifiable grievances with PCs but are reluctant to speak out for fear of retribution - as you feel.
In the one hand, I very often say there is little that a PC can actually do but my previous argument appears to run counter to that position. All I would say is I do believe there is little that a PC can do UNLESS it is properly considered, balanced and appropriate intervention.
Of course I totally understand when people still have reservations. It’s easy for me because I actually relish a challenge with ‘authority’ but I know that is a bit unusual.
I even do some consultation work pro bono if I like the look of the challenge ):0)

PM me the planning app if you want to but don’t worry if you don’t want to
It’s tempting! I did challenge them on the original issue and I have never known anything like this- not this level of petty retribution and refusal to consider another point of view.
You always have the option of contacting the case officer directly to express your concern about potential PC bias - or you could ask your planning agent / architect to do so on your behalf.
The applicant is perfectly at liberty to liaise directly with the LPA case officer - you could express the concerns you have posted here direct to the case officer.

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