Thursday, 27 February 2014

No Hiding Place for Tree House Planners

Who remembers No Hiding Place on TV? With the discovery by CERN physicists of a Higgs-like particle, it seems as if scientists are closing in on God and he has to look for yet another place to hide.

Saw another installment of 'Permisison Impossible' on TV last night (it's compulsive viewing).

Mr and Mrs McKenzie-Wiley (who by their accents had moved to the Cotswolds from London) were huffing and puffing with righteous indignation at a local, who lives over half a kilometer away across a valley, building a tree house in his garden. The minute Mrs McKenzie-Wiley open her mouth and said; "But if you look out of our living room with binoculars....", I knew she was on a hiding to nothing and her objection had no merit. The tree house was approved. I could just imagine her scowling into her gooseberry and cinnamon yogurt.

In another application the local planning officer had recommended a plan for 3,000 homes should go ahead due to a lack of valid objections. However, the councillors sided with the protesters (on whose votes they count) and turned the development down, regardless of the planning officer's warning that unless they had a valid objection (which they didn't, other than 'it's our town') the rejection would be guaranteed to be overturned on appeal, as had every previous rejection of a similar nature, racking up yet more futile and ill-afforded costs for the cash-strapped council. A classic case of councillors buying votes with the voters' council tax money - but then that's one of the downsides of democracy.

Think I'll become a serial planning objector when I retire and hire myself out to Little Englanders.

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