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Conflict of interest from lobby group

0 votes
we are a small, rural PC with nine members.  Recently we had before us a contentious Planning application that was, eventually, decided by a majority of 6:2 with one absent to support the application.  The two Councillors who voted to object are also part of an unconstituted lobby group of 11 residents who have expressed their desire to object, individually and as households, to this same planning application.  The Lobby Group have written to the Parish Council to request 'chapter and verse' as to why we have supported the application.  Does the fact that two of the Parish Councillors (those who objected) are named as Members of the Lobby Group constitute a conflict of interest by the two Councillors?

If so what can we do about this?
asked by (400 points)

3 Answers

+1 vote
As the council has no power to accept or refuse planning permission over that of a member of the public there is no issue.

Like any neighbours you consulted and your opinions used in a balanced manner by the planning department. If the majority of your Council has chosen to support the application that is your democratic decision.

So long as no individual Councillor has a pecuniary interest that they haven’t declared there’s no reason to enter into correspondence any further with anyone.

Like most planning discussions at PC/TC level id imagine you looked at the paperwork and pretty much took a vote. I’m not exactly sure what the lobbying group will be expecting you to produce for them.
answered by (5k points)
Hello Chloe, I'm not sure I followed your answer.  What I anted to know was whether there was any conflict of interest on behalf of the two councillors who were also on the lobby group as well as the PC.
Sorry, no there’s no conflict.
0 votes
I'm not sure you need to do anything. A PC is only a 'Statutory consultee', so the real power to decide planning applications resides with the District Council. There is nothing to stop those of you who supported the application of making a personal comment of support to the District.

If yours is anything like ours, most of our objections are ignored!

Are the objections of the dissenters valid planning objections? I have often found that these so called objections don't amount to much as they are not based on planning law. Planning is a regulatory process not a democratic one.
answered by (2.6k points)
Thanks for the comments - I think I am becoming paranoid :-)
0 votes
It is difficult to say whether there is a conflict of interest here without more details.  For instance, are the two objectors just resistant to change or do they stand to lose out in some way if the application is approved?
answered by (950 points)

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