Saturday, 8 May 2010

Council: we lost marina objections

COUNCIL chiefs have admitted they lost almost 500 objects to a Knowle marina plan.

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The Silhillian revealed on Thursday that 477 objections to the scheme off Jacobean Lane were ‘unavailable’.

A developer is appealing against Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council’s decision to reject the plan – and the council now has to pass objections to the Planning Inspectorate, which will make the final decision.

It did not respond when asked to explain what had happened by The Silhillian on Wednesday.

Yet a spokesman told Friday’s The Solihull News: “ The objections to this application were filed in the appropriate location, but appear to have been removed and not replaced. A thorough search has failed to locate them.

“However, the original objections were summarised in the report that went to our planning committee, so we still have a clear record of the issues people objected to, and these will be reported at appeal.

“We have taken advice from the Planning Inspectorate, who has said that if possible, people should send in copies of their original objections, or if they do not have copies, re-write their objections. We have written to people to advise them of this.

“We appreciate this may cause some inconvenience, and can only apologise.”

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In a letter to residents, council chief Gary Palmer said: “Unfortunately representations made at the application stage are currently unavailable and at this stage I cannot guarantee that the letters will be available during the course of the appeal process.”

Mr Palmer, head of design and development at Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council, provided residents with the Planning Inspectorate’s address to make representations ‘if they wish to do so’.

It adds: “I will ensure that as part of the council’s case the inspector will be made aware of the level of representations made at the application stage, together with a summary of the grounds for objections.

“I apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.”

Another marina plan, for Stripes Hill Farm, off the Warwick Road, was also refused by the council.

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