Planning deferrals - a political motive?

April 10, 2012 10:23 PM
Karen Chilvers & Cllr David Kendall with local residents in St James Road

Cllr Kendall & Karen Chilvers protest against the development in St James Road

Four important planning referrals have been deferred until AFTER the borough council elections, therefore letting the Tory administration "off the hook" and making it a lot easier for these applications to be potentially approved after Brentwood residents have cast their votes.

Residents were appalled at the March planning meeting when two large applications in Clements Park and St James Road, both of which will seriously affect the lives of residents in the hotly contested Tory/Lib Dem marginal seat of Brentwood West where Karen Chilvers is standing, were deferred to a later date. Now, with the April agenda published and these two applications deferred until mid-May, it appears that this is for political reasons as an approval would have made a Tory loss almost inevitable.

What's more, complaints have been made to the council about this delay after residents sat in the council chamber for two hours for the St James Road application to be heard only for it to be deferred without any debate.

Now, an application in Beads Hall Lane, Pilgrims Hatch, has also been pushed back until after the elections and Cllr Ross Carter's referral on the Eclipse Nightclub's application to extend its opening hours to 4am hasbeen pushed back until after the elections by the Tory Chair as it is deemed "politically sensitive".

Lib Dem Leader Cllr David Kendall said:

"I'm sure the Tories will say there are very good reasonsfor these deferrals but we and many local residents feel they have been delayed on purpose until after the Borough Council elections are out of the way".

"One deferral would be understandable but to have four deferrals like this almost beggars belief. Is it pure coincidence or blatant electioneering?

"We will have to leave it to residents to decide".