Havering Council Are At Risk Of Losing Control Of Planning Decisions !

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Havering Council Are At Risk Of Losing Control Of Planning Decisions !

Lorraine Moss
At the full council meeting of 13 September, the following motion was put forward by the Independent Residents Group.  This motion is about not allowing Cllr's to speak about applications that are heard before the Planning Committee that are not in their ward.  This does not happen very often but occasionally residents do not get any support from their local Cllr when objecting to planning applications.  When I was on Hylands ward back in 2013 and dealing with the Garrick House application (this is a sheltered housing complex and the council wanted to build on the communal gardens) one of the Conservative Cllr's supported the application.  Cllr Damian White was originally helping residents object and was due to speak on their behalf at the planning committee.  However, as it got closer to the meeting, he started to ignore the residents, he did not respond to emails or phone calls.  I even called him myself and asked him to get back to the residents because they were relying for him to speak on their behalf.  He never did get back to them!  I managed to get a Cllr from another ward to speak on their behalf.  Cllr Barbara Matthews was allowed to address the committee.  Just recently there was an application in Emmerson Park and the committee would not allow Cllr Ron Ower to speak for the residents because he was not the ward Cllr.

Please see below, this is the motion that was put forward by the Independents Residents Group;

SPEAKING ON PLANNING APPLICATIONS

Motion on behalf of the Independent Residents’ Group

It is axiomatic that a Havering councillor should be able to speak on a Havering
planning application and for two minutes, just like any resident can object, although
the Constitution allows 4 minutes for a ward matter. And this has always been the
customary practice.

Council wonders why Members are now being told they don't have the right to
speak on planning applications outside their own ward and calls on the Governance
Committee to consider recommending amendments to the constitution to provide
rights for members to speak on matters anywhere in Havering, if they so wish.


As you can see, the motion and it's subject matter are very clear and concise.  However, the Conservative amendment seems to ignore the main issue here and instead reveals some very disturbing information that basically states that Havering is just a small step away from potentially losing control of planning applications in Havering !

Amendment on behalf of the Conservative Group
Amend to read:
This Council notes that DCLG measures the performance of a council as a Local
Planning Authority in various ways and that if more than 10 % of decisions on major
planning applications are reversed on appeal during a prescribed period a
designation may be made the result of which is that applicants may apply directly to
the planning inspectorate for planning permission without the council having the
power to make a decision or charge planning fees.

It notes further that if planning permission is granted in this way the council will not in
future receive the New Homes Bonus relating to these decisions.
It notes further with concern that currently 9.2% of this Council’s decisions on majors
have been overturned and that if 1 of 2 pending major appeals is lost by the end of
December 2017 the 10% threshold will be reached.

This Council therefore requests the Governance Committee to consider its current
constitutional arrangements for determining planning applications and in particular
major applications in addition to reviewing the right of members other than those on
the committee to speak at Regulatory Services committee meetings.



It would appear that none of our Cllr's were aware of this fact.  Cllr Damian White stated at the meeting that he was first aware of Havering's position only a few weeks ago.  The Leader of the council Cllr Roger Ramsey actually admitted that it was a failure on their part that this rather significant information has just come to light.  

Cllr Damian White even suggests that this problem is due to the Planning Committee refusing to many applications.  This infuriated many Cllr's that are on the Regulatory Service Committee.

I have helped a number of residents object to planning permission and was successful on a number of occasions.  The committee have to refuse applications on material planning considerations.  This is to ensure that there is less chance of decisions being overturned on appeal.  I personally feel that it the appeal process itself that needs to be scrutinised.

I am also far from happy that this important information was included in an amendment to a motion that was really about Clllr's right to  address the committee on issues outside their ward.  

It will be interesting to see what happens next,  I am very concerned of the implications of this.  It will be a total disaster is Havering have no control over planning decisions and will be detrimental to all the residents of Havering.  

Please take the time to watch this debate on the webcast you can view it on the following link https://aisapps.sonicfoundry.com/AuditelScheduler/Player/Index/?id=c3c9fe70-0fb7-4cd3-a2c4-754e211ee9fb&presID=4d0e49b0b43342c79c7f44ea1f0dad7f1d 

The motion starts at around 1.10.
“Never be afraid to raise your voice for honesty and truth and compassion against injustice and lying and greed. If people all over the world...would do this, it would change the earth.”
― William Faulkner--
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Re: Havering Council Are At Risk Of Losing Control Of Planning Decisions !

Percy
This has been on the cards for ages. As I have often said what do councillors do.
Revolutions are always verbose.
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Re: Havering Council Are At Risk Of Losing Control Of Planning Decisions !

Adminstration
Administrator
Percy in the ward where we live it is a close run thing between very, very little and absolutely nothing....
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Re: Havering Council Are At Risk Of Losing Control Of Planning Decisions !

Percy
Yes and where I live its only a party that is laughed at by the rest of the council
Revolutions are always verbose.
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Re: Havering Council Are At Risk Of Losing Control Of Planning Decisions !

confused of hornchurch

How will this affect the brown envelopes?
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Re: Havering Council Are At Risk Of Losing Control Of Planning Decisions !

Percy
Having said that its  only the same as MPs I wrote to the MP for Barking Margaret Hodge regarding my fathers street and was told as I do not live in her constituency she could not do any thing. He a 92 year old would have to write to her.
Revolutions are always verbose.
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Re: Havering Council Are At Risk Of Losing Control Of Planning Decisions !

confused of hornchurch

She's probably exhausted just having to reply to you.

She would probably require a salary increase if she had to write to both of you.
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Re: Havering Council Are At Risk Of Losing Control Of Planning Decisions !

Adminstration
Administrator
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Re: Havering Council Are At Risk Of Losing Control Of Planning Decisions !

Percy
Yes as you know I have been saying this for ages. The government decided 8 years ago that 90% of all planning decisions had to go through with nothing but a rubber stamp. Then of the 10% left 90% had to go through with scrutiny.This meant the council had virtually no lee way to halt planning requests and was limited really to only stopping requests in conservation areas and the odd big application if enough public complained.This really meant Gidea park ,Emerson park and a few major applications like Dovers corner. They seem to have given up on Emerson park and it is rapidly losing its character being replaced with big square Romanian type ugliness. Even Gidea park is now being torn down and altered. As again I have said many many times what do they do why do we need 54 of them they have no job to do, I keep asking them what do you actually do and all they say is we are very busy, If they were volunteers or had some sort of ceremonial duties it would be better but we only need at most 12 full time councillors and an elected mayor.
Revolutions are always verbose.
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Re: Havering Council Are At Risk Of Losing Control Of Planning Decisions !

Phil Wailing
Percy if this happens and planning decisions are taken out of the hands of Havering I would suggest we don't need any of them.

If the overturned appeals reaches 10% and gives developers the ability to circumvent Havering Council entirely and have the planning inspectorate rule on their application then why not have a licencing inspectorate and do away entirely with regulatory services.

Councils are unaffordable quango's that cost tens of billions - The whole system is outdated and needs drastically streamlining. Local democracy has become unaffordable, 54 complete part timers sit in a chamber observing centuries old traditions that have no relevance whatsoever in the 21st century. I would not describe myself as an anarchist but this fiasco needs tearing down and replacing with a system fit for purpose in today's world.

Central government needs to build hundreds of thousands of homes, do you think for one minute they are going to allow a handful of part time amateurs get in their way.

Our part time amateurs that sit on the regulatory services committee for planning now have 2 choices.

1) approve all planning applications.

2) reject the panning application, risk it being overturned on appeal and have all planning decisions taken out of your hands.
We haven't inherited the earth from our parents, we have borrowed it from our children.
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Re: Havering Council Are At Risk Of Losing Control Of Planning Decisions !

Percy
There is a way round it. They do not include all the applications in their calculations. There are thousands that simply go through. Those for extensions new windows a big shed etc. If they were to include them in their calculations they would only be refusing a tiny part of 1%.However they would have to do more work and that will not happen.
Revolutions are always verbose.
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Re: Havering Council Are At Risk Of Losing Control Of Planning Decisions !

Phil Wailing
There are 11 members of the planning committee and 6 of them were only elected in 2014 and of that 6 none had experience of town and country planning prior to being elected 3 years ago.

They are placed on the committee for political reasons, it has nothing to do with knowledge or experience. The system is a farce, it is broken.....

We haven't inherited the earth from our parents, we have borrowed it from our children.
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Re: Havering Council Are At Risk Of Losing Control Of Planning Decisions !

Percy
Look to Birmingham and Kensington its the same all over Councils are a busted flush.
Revolutions are always verbose.
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Re: Havering Council Are At Risk Of Losing Control Of Planning Decisions !

dalek1
In reply to this post by Adminstration
In my area one half decent and the other two forget it.
I've heard through the grapevine one is being deselected but its up to the opposition to get out and campaign and will we see it?