Representation at Planning Committee

Discussion in 'Campaigns' started by MrPVRd, Jul 25, 2007.

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  1. This is something I PM'd to PTP. It's some suggestions as to how the representation by the spokesperson/spokespeople could go. Obviously if there are 2 then more ground can be covered.

    I don't believe for a minute that I can teach anyone from this campaign anything about advocating the need for this facility. However, I've prepared planning reports for, and spoken at, Planning Committees, and I can offer some suggestions and - if desired - some feedback. I believe there are maybe 2 other ARRSErs who have better development control knowledge than I do (not my field, I work on the policy side, mainly retail and housing), as well as PPruners. It might be worth considering a PM to some key posters beyond this secret forum to get additional feedback.

    Most of the objections have effectively been dismissed and the recommendation to refuse is based on the subjective interpretation of this minor development based on a general development control policy ENV22 rather than a specific policy relating directly to the land.

    My suggestions:

    1. Spokesperson - we have the best advocates possible, from this side of things anyway!

    2. Stressing the need. The need for the facility should constitute the majority of the speech. The planning agent will tackle the planning issues (more below). However, the personal experience of being war wounded or being the family of war wounded will carry enormous weight and sympathy. MoD should be providing this facility and they are not. SSAFA have stepped in to fill the breach, and after searching various sites, they have identified this site as the only viable one. Some Headley Court statistics would be useful - number of patients, extent of injuries, time spent in treatment, number of times they currently get to see their families, statement of effectiveness in familial contact in promoting rehabilitation

    3. Brief rebuttal. This needs gone over in more detail. I wouldn't recommend directly attacking the planning decision as a wrong one, as this is debatable and may encourage the closure of ranks. The fact that many objections ("hostel", "traffic" etc) have been overturned should be mentioned briefly, as should the pathetic excuses of terrorism and property prices. The only ground for refusal (I will look at this again) is ENV22. It is important that the character of a neighbourhood is respected and SSAFA will surely do all they can to ensure this through planning agreements and conditions. Nevertheless, the development is so minor that it is difficult to see how the amenity of the neighbourhood would be adversely effected to such a degree as to warrant refusal, particularly as many objections have been discounted.

    4. Killer conclusion. Headley Court is the only rehabilitation centre of its kind in the UK dealing with such severe war wounds. There is an urgent need for this visiting facility, to allow wounded personnel to spend time with their families, which has been neglected until now. There is overwhelming support for this facility from across the UK and we implore you to do the right thing tonight, for the war wounded and their families, lest we forget their sacrifices.

    It's a bit wooly, but I would recommend something along those lines - I am sure it is in hand already!

    Speaking to the Development Control and Licensing Committee

    For planning applications where there are 20 or more objection letters or a petition of at least 50 signatures (in both cases from different households) objecting to an application, the Council also allows people to speak to the Planning Committee at its meeting. This will apply to applications where the officers recommendation is either for approval or refusal. There are certain opportunities for supporters of an application to speak, and these are outlined later in this leaflet.

    This opportunity to speak is additional to the established system of making written objections and comments. It enables one representative of the objectors to summarise, in person, the main points against a planning proposal. An equal opportunity to speak is given to the person applying for planning permission, or his/her agent. A representative of the Parish Council can also speak, or alternatively a specified Residents' Association / Amenity Society in areas which do not have a Parish Council.

    How is it Organised?

    Where the opportunity to speak is available those people who have written letters (or the organiser of the petition) will be notified about a week before the meeting when the application is to be considered. If you wish to speak you should make your request by telephone (ring 01306 879261) by no later than 3 p.m. on the Monday before the meeting, Tuesday if there is a Bank Holiday. A copy of the officers' report will be made available.

    People who have made requests to speak will normally be put in touch with each other and asked to agree a spokesperson. If agreement cannot be reached, the first person who put in a request will be accepted as spokesperson.

    Speaking in Support

    Normally, views in support of an application are represented by the applicant. However, there is an opportunity for a representative of supporters to speak in cases where there are at least 20 letters of support, or 50 signatures on a petition, and the Officers' report to Committee recommends that the planning application be refused. The representative of the supporters would speak at the meeting after the applicant. The other arrangements would be set out in this leaflet.


    Ref the red, whilst I'm sure that the same rules apply as they do to the blue I'm going to play dumb (hey, I'm a brunette not a blonde! :D ) and ask the council if, in the case where the first person to register to speak does NOT speak for the vast majority of supporters, a petition can be put forward by the majority of supporters to nominate their preferred rep i.e. our own Bionic-Man.

    A second thought is to have LOADS of us put our names forward to speak, then each of us tell the council that we've reached consensus that Capt Norton be our rep and Mrs. Cheeks would be the only one voting for herself...

    Rules, if not made to be broken, are made to be bent out of shape occasionally! ;)
  3. What about putting forward three or four of our own to request to speak. Then they all vote for Bionic-Man to be spokesman - if the agreement for spokesman is based on majority rather than all consenting?
  4. That's what I meant here:

    Then again, I'm so brain-dead I couldn't even spell my own name earlier, so maybe it came over as muddled!
  5. :oops: Oops, sorry just me being dense, I totally missed that portion of your post. I'm just boggle-eyed through staring too much at the computer today.

    But anyway great minds think alike :)
  6. What a very good idea!
  7. Has there been any more info on what "agreement" means?

    Just had dale on the phone, digging about "who's speaking at the meeting? What was all that about Cheeks" and so on. Hopefully didn't give anything away, but she was guessing a bit close to the bone about what the fuss might be. Asked for the MVDC number to reister herself as a speaker and then support "whoever ARRSE has nominated" when they tell her to join the queue.

    Can we get a definate from Brenda tomorrow whether agreement means unanimous or if "so overwhelmingly for one that the single vote against doesn't count". Would think that, in an essentially democratic process, it should be the second.

    Reckon we could get a good 100 or so requests to speak from here, all phoning back 10 minutes later to say "Discussed it, I'd like Capt Norton please"
  8. From OIC Battleaxe Crab Wives . . .

    When we ring to register, we are told we have to contact her and sort it out that way.

    Thus, 100 registrations would either blow her mind or perhaps just make her say "too many, can't agree, it's me".

    Short of executive wet action, I'm at a loss for a minute.
  9. This is my concern, from the stock acknowledgement response:

    High stakes - MVDC may seek to avoid any hassle and fall back on this position. A compromise may be distasteful but necessary - hopefully SSAFA could make the point that the most appropriate spokesperson is Peter and will she please take a back seat/second billing/support act or whatever will massage her yellow ribbon ego.
  10. Moving swiftly on now ...........

    I plan to be at the meeting in Dorking.

    Do we have any planning ninjas (looks towards Mr PVR . . ) who will be watching the webcast? If so, I can take my GPRS laptop in case you want to offer us advice as the meeting progresses.

    I think it would only work in a matter of a point of order as to planning regs, and I'm sure the SSAFA Planning Consultant chap will be on the ball, but do you want to have a go, or am I just too in love with technology?
  11. Meeting is expected to last an hour to an hour and a half, first thing on the agenda.

    There will be narrowcasting in the Canteen area, which is pretty substantial.

    Unfortunately, the Planning Commitee will need the main chambers as it's just big enough to get Mrs. Cheek's ego in.
  12. hehehhe snarf snarf.

  13. Cardington Hangars aren't big enough for that.
  14. I suggest I pull together the main planning points to rebut the recommendation for refusal. I've found a fair bit and there is more stuff out there on ARRSE and also Pprune. Suggest maybe 1 minute to 1 minute 30 seconds on this.
  15. As suggested I can watch the webcast as well and post any points or suggestions!