Public consultation: a necessary evil for the Council?

Author: Cyril Richert

'Excellent! So that's all agreed, then! All we need do now is draft the consultation document.' (cartoonstock.com)Wandsworth Council, like all other public authorities is used to run consultations. Some might consider that consultations are un-necessary: local elections are providing elected Councillors who have the legitimate power to make decisions. But most will argue that the consultation is part of a vibrant democratic process where the local government needs to seek (and not dismiss) the support of the residents to implement preferences. The fact is also that most of the consultations are mandatory as part of the local authority statutory duty. Continue reading

Advertisements

Planning Forum meeting 12 July 2017: What purpose?

Author: Cyril Richert

Room-123

Planning Applications Committee – Room 123

Was it a new start for the planning forum or just an iteration of the usual meeting were local amenity groups are fed with updates without much time for discussion on issues? If it was the initial intention of the new chair, Cllr Will Sweet, it was definitely a failure.

In any case it started very badly when I asked to read a very short (1 or 2 minutes) statement at the introduction. That little piece was intended to summarise the frustration of many groups attending this meeting, and had been discussed between us (local groups and Societies) before the meeting. The response from Cllr Sweet was: No! repeated several time as voices raised from several attendees (and members of Societies) to support my request. Continue reading

Residents launch several judicial reviews against Wandsworth Council

Author: Cyril Richert

WBC-GooglemapIn an unprecedented move, several resident groups are launching different Judicial Reviews against Wandsworth Council. They are accusing the Council of disregarding residents and constituents in relation to planning applications, planners approving proposals despite not meeting standards, conforming to policy or satisfying the law and Council majority councillors refusing to communicate with them.

Proposals for Battersea Park (Formula E), Neal’s Lodge (Wandsworth Common) and 88 Thurleigh Rd have all issued claims at Court in the possibility of going to fill judicial review on Wandsworth Council planning applications. Continue reading

Local plan still unsound but minor modifications will make it sound says inspector

Author: Cyril Richert

Local Plan examination - Hearing session 8th July 2015

Local Plan examination – Hearing session 8th July 2015

The government inspector in charge of reviewing Wandsworth planning policy submitted his report on December 23rd, 2015 concluded that it “has a number of deficiencies in relation to soundness […] which mean that [he] recommend[s] non-adoption of it as submitted“.

However he recommended main modifications to make the local plan sound and the Council announced on its website that it considered that the Local Plan has been found sound and they will now make those modifications and prepare the final versions of the Local Plan for adoption in March 2016. Continue reading

New consultation on planning documents: what’s the point?

Author: Cyril Richert

The Council is producing a new Local Plan document  covering employment premises and industrial land. This new document will replace the employment and industrial land policies in the existing Local Plan documents, the Core Strategy, Development Management Policies Document (DMPD) and the Site Specific Allocations Document (SSAD). At the same time the Council will be starting work on the full review of the Local Plan which will include review of all other policy matters (YES, already… the current local plan is still under examination, that the Council is already working on changing the not-yet-approved one!). Continue reading

Planning Forum meeting 18 November 2015: some feedback

Author: Cyril Richert

Room-123

Planning Applications Committee – Room 123

I think it is now more or less established that there will be 2 planning forums per year, as the previous one happened on the 10th June 2015 (I forgot to report about it but you can download the minutes HERE).

Therefore, a new planning forum was held on 18th November 2015. 11 individuals from community groups and societies attended the meeting, along with 4 officers and the chair of the Planning Application Committee, Cllr McDermott. Continue reading