Limbless Marine screwed over by local council

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by dropshortjock, Jan 27, 2009.

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  1. Another story to make you want to scream - Good luck Royal, and I hope this decision gets overturned and that you get the grovelling apology you deserve.

    Soldier who lost both legs in Afghanistan is refused permission for specially-adapted bungalow on grandparents' land

    A crippled soldier has been left 'devastated' after councillors threw out his grandparents' plans to build him a specially-adapted bungalow on their land so he could move out of hospital.
    Royal Marine Joe Townsend, 20, lost both his legs when he stepped on an anti-tank mine on patrol in Afghanistan 11 months ago.
    He is desperate to move out of Headley Court Armed Forces rehab centre in Surrey to be closer to his family in Pevensey, East Sussex, and gave an impassioned speech to his local planning committee asking them to approve the designs.
    But his dreams were shattered when Wealden councillors decided his case was not 'exceptional' enough to waive strict planning laws forbidding development on the secluded private land surrounding his grandparents' country home.
    Joe said: 'I was devastated by the decision.
    'They gave me two minutes to put my points across and I told them I was a 20-year-old Marine injured in Afghanistan.
    'I said I had been a local lad all my life and always wanted to live round my granddad's.
    'His idea of building me a place in his paddock was a massive incentive for me to crack on, get better and get my independence back.
    'The rejection was a kick in the teeth and I don't know what will happen now.'
    Councillor Niki Oates, who is also a double amputee, called on fellow committee members to 'damn the rules' and help him.
    But her proposal was rejected by six votes to five.

    Rejected: Mr Carter stands by the plot of land he wanted to build a specially-adapted bungalow on for his badly injured grandson

    She said: 'I lost both my legs below the knee so obviously, I felt special compassion for him.
    'I said, damn the rules! There has to be a way to get round them sometimes in a case like this.
    'I tried my hardest, but to no avail. I wish him every luck.

    'He is a really genuine guy, a 40-year-old head on 20-year-old shoulders, and he is welcome to come round to mine for a cup of tea and a chat any time.'
    Joe, who has already had 20 operations and is due to undergo more surgery next month, said: 'I was really touched by the strength of her support.
    'It was nice to see obviously I've put myself out doing service in Afghanistan and other people were prepared to. It's a shame everybody wasn't.'
    A Wealden Council spokesman said: 'The proposed dwelling by reason of its siting and detailed design would appear as an intrusive development within this semi-rural area.
    'The circumstances in this case are not considered sufficient to warrant an exception to the usual restraint policies.'
    The original plans featured a therapy treatment room, an en-suite bathroom and a bedroom for a carer.

    The bungalow would have been hidden form view of the road and the nearest neighbours and looked out onto open countryside.
    Joe's grandfather David Carter, 72 said: 'The local council should be bending over backwards for lads like Joe because there is such a shortage of places for these young lads to live.
    'When you think what lads like Joe have been through - he has lost half his body.'
    His grandmother, Lynda, 60, added: 'These are exceptional circumstances - our grandson has almost given his life for us so that we can be free from terrorists.'
    Neighbour Bob Crouch said: 'I had no objections and I was disappointed when I heard it had been turned down.
    'The council was concerned it could have set a precedent but I think they could have approved it on compassionate grounds.'
  2. Who has the keys and worksticket?

    It seems the only way to do this is to ignore the planning law and claim Gippo ethnicty when any one asks.

    It is easier to apologise (or in this case call for a human rights lawyer) than it is to ask for permission.

    The really sad part about this is that I am not in the least surprised by it.
  3. Pretty bloody sickening stuff. I'll bet my last rolo that they would have given planning permission to some local developer as long as there was a bulging brown envelope involved.

    A petition to the council might be in order, along the lines of Headley Court Nimby appeal?
  4. This is probably a decision that could be overturned if it was handled in the right way.
    A few chats and lunches with the right people and a little, light pressure from the relevant agencies.

    An 'All guns blazing' approach could make Wealden Council dig their heels in and be counter productive.
  5. That's just what I was thinking. Are there any wise legal eagles on here who know what form of letter we should send to the council? Similar form to the Mole Valley letters of July 2007?

    East Sussex is quite close to home for me. I'm happy to deploy on Op Nimby 2 should the need arise.
  6. Ready for instructions
  7. How much you wanna bet that if any of the local elite wanted to add a swimming pool to their property that council would be fine with it? Hopefully enough pressure is applied that the jerks who denied the Marine his opportunity to lead a normal life are booted from their position and replaced by more sensible folks.
  8. The council website


    There is an appeal process. What a bunch of jobsworths.
  9. Thanks devilish, email sent, there will be fax and a snail mail off in the next couple of hours, plus duplicates to Tory HQ
  10. As ever, please hold fire on letters to MPs and so on until the facts are established - we have the potential to do harm and ensure that toes are dug in on this matter rather than assist with Mne Townsend's case, so please bear that in mind.
  11. Am I right in thinking that a wooden building is classed as a temporary structure and doesn't require planning permission.
    It could be a workaround for him.
  12. I don't think that applies when the building is to be used as a dwelling with connections to mains water and other utilities, but I'm happy to be corrected.
  13. You mean he could take the Pikey approach and just move a meter every 5 years or so
  14. This is bloody wrong. What on earth is this country coming too. Im stood by for instructions.
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