Postponing the Planning Forum is unacceptable!

Author: Cyril Richert

On Friday 16th February we received an email telling us about the postponing of the next Planning Forum meeting… to be moved more than 4 months later.

Dear All

At the last Planning Forum meeting held on 6 November, we agreed to meet again on 26 February to coincide with the consultation on the revised Local Plan.  The timing of the review has been delayed and it is now expected that consultation will take place between 17 May and 28 June 2013.  It is therefore proposed that the next meeting of the Planning Forum should be rescheduled to take place on 4 June at 7pm in Room 145.  In the meantime if there are any other issues you would like to be added to the agenda please let me know.

June Agyeman
Executive Assistant

I have sent the following response to the Council:

Dear June Agyeman

We have received your notice about the cancellation of the next Planning Forum decided on 26 February and the proposal for a new date on 7 June 2013. We will be pleased to discuss in full the consultation of the revised LDF later this year.

However the cancellation of the 26 February meeting is unacceptable. Although those meeting are used by the Council to communicate about the major borough plan changes, these meetings also discuss other matters. Using the minutes of the last meeting that you sent, we can see, along with the Local Plan, that topics such as Localism Bill, Permitted Developments, Town Centres and Change of use, CIL update and Wandsworth Design Panel were also addressed.

We have already complained about the lack of regular meetings on planning issues. Before the November 2012 meeting, we had to go back 13 months in arrears, October 18th 2011, to see another Planning Forum organised. That goes far beyond the words of Cllr Cuff in September 2010, to have a meeting every 3 month.

Beside the Local Plan, there are multiple subjects that could go on the Agenda: recent government changes to permitted development rights, town centres, Nine Elms, …etc.  

We trust that the Council will consider a closer suitable date to organise a Planning Forum where to address the current issues/news.

Yours sincerely

Read our article:
> Planning Forum meeting November 2012: some feedback

UPDATE 18/02/2013:

We received a response to our email from John Stone,  Head of Forward Planning and Transportation, saying that there has been a confusion and that “it was intended to rearrange the Agent’s Forum and not the Planning Forum. However, to clarify the current situation it is now proposed to rearrange the Planning Forum for a date to be confirmed in March“.

So in other words, to clarify a situation that only the Council was confused about, the date that they did not intend to change is now changing!

And by the way, the agenda should be the same as the one I suggested ;-).

UPDATE 13/03/2013:

New email received today: there is apparently a clash with another meeting… therefore the Planning forum meeting planned for March 26th is now moved to April 16th. Please officers, a little more efforts and then you’ll be able to match your original proposal of June!

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