On 5th January 2012 I wrote the following blog but I got cold feet over whether it was
good enough. The general drift was accurate enough, I’d been shown the papers, but I was
concerned that something may have been withheld from me. Fishy it undoubtedly was but I
wasn’t totally happy with it.
So with the proviso that things may not be quite as bad as they look, here is what very nearly appeared 18 months ago…
5 January - Your guide to nobbling a Planning Committee
Step 1 - Preliminaries
• Apply for planning permission.
• See it rejected.
• Appeal to Government inspector.
Step 2 - On hearing that the appeal is likely to be rejected
• Reapply for planning permission.
• Recruit friendly councillor.
Step 3 - Procedure at Planning Committee • Await inevitable severe criticism of plans.
• Watch friendly councillor argue that the inspector will allow the appeal so Committee may as well pass it and save the trouble.
• Planning officials must remain dumb about the fact the Government inspector has already rejected it.
• Application passed. (Celebration and pay-off optional.)
Terms & Conditions
• Applicants must be a council employee; preferably employed in the Planning Department.
Though he wasn’t personally involved, John Watson who founded the Bexley Council Monitoring Group, poked his nose in, asking for the plans and all that sort of stuff. He looked at them but was told it would cost hundreds of pounds to let him have copies - and he is not made of money. Gradually and with the help of the Information Commissioner he beat down the price but it was still too much so he arranged to go and have another look instead. He arrived at the Civic Centre last Wednesday at the appointed time and - guess what? Bexley council has lost all the papers.
As I concluded in January 2012, it looks like something fishy has been going on.