Cobham Conservation and Heritage Trust

Email to Councillors Re: Holly Parade, Cobham - Planning Application 2016/2185

Fri 13 Jan 2017

Dear Councillors,

I apologised for writing to you three days ago and I am afraid I must now apologise again for this submission but the seriousness of the situation regarding this application and the consequences if it were approved on Tuesday on the basis of the evidence, analysis and conclusions put forward by the planning officer leaves one increasingly disturbed. The developer contacted me today and remarked that this application had caused much angst in the community; this is true, but this angst has not been of our making. We and other objectors have been consistently ignored right up to and including at the South Area Planning Committee hearing when the "unsafe" approval to the application was given.

Our Leading Counsel, Matthew Horton QC from 39 Essex Court Chambers - an acknowledged planning expert - has settled the attached Opinion just a few hours ago. You will see he uses strong language and I give just four examples:

  • Para 8 "...is manifestly flawed and therefore not reliable in law"
  • Para 8 "Factually that is incorrect just as is her bizarre proposition that the building as a whole would not be “overbearing”
  • Para 9 "That is an entirely inadequate manner in which to advise members."
  • Para 10 “In my experience, that demonstrates an indefensible indifference by the Planning Officer to the conservation issues arising in this case” and "I regard this advice to be particularly damning and the failure of the Planning Officer to request it earlier to be unpardonable and incompetent. In my opinion, in reliance on that advice, permission should be refused.”

After reading his Opinion we hope you will share with us that this planning application should be refused.

With best wishes and again apologies for disturbing your weekend.

Gerry Acher

Click here to view QC's Opinion. arrow right

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