TRAVELLERS’ SITE PLANNING APPEAL
Despite overwhelming local opposition and over 320 letters of objection to SODC, the applicant for planning permission to develop a Travellers’ Site on agricultural land alongside the A40 outside the village has appealed SODC’s decision to refuse his application. The Appeal will be heard by a Planning Inspector at a Public Inquiry.
All Tetsworth households will have received a flyer announcing a village meeting on 28 September to address an action plan and invite contributions to a fighting fund for preparation and possible representation at the Appeal hearing. Many of you will have attended this meeting but are still unsure of the timescales and milestones leading up to a Public Inquiry, the Inspector’s decision and any further appeal mechanisms – and what part you can play.
- The Appeal was lodged by the Appellant during August 2016, within 6 months of the original planning Refusal. SODC’s period of consultation opened on 8 September and currently remains open until 13 October, although Tetsworth Parish Council has requested an extension.
- During the period of consultation, the Appellant, SODC and local objectors must submit their Proofs of Evidence which will later be considered by the Planning Inspector. The Appellant and SODC will engage professional legal and planning experts to prepare their submissions and present them at a Public Inquiry.
- Although the Planning Inspector will take into consideration the substance of the 320 or so letters of objection to the original planning application, individual residents wishing to submit further evidence or speak at the Public Inquiry will have to make a fresh written objection during the consultation period and express a wish to be heard. Their objection should ideally focus on reasons why the Appeal should fail, as much as on their original objections. Permission to speak at Inquiries is governed by an extensive raft of regulations.
- Once the consultation period has closed, the Planning Inspector will consider the evidence submitted by all parties and decide when and where the Public Inquiry should be held. This phase of the process is likely to last a number of weeks.
- It is likely that the Public Inquiry will be held in Tetsworth Memorial Hall sometime next Spring. An Inquiry of this nature would probably last 2 or 3 days.
- The Inspector at a Public Inquiry will essentially be making his judgement on the relative strengths of the opposing planning views in a Planning Balance and will usually be able to write his report and announce his decision within 3 to 6 weeks of the hearing.
- Although the decision of a Planning Inspector at a Public Inquiry is generally accepted as the last word on an application, it is still open to both sides to take the issue to the High Court.
Planning within Tetsworth
The District Council make decisions regarding Planning Applications and you can search their database here.
The Parish Council is consulted on all applications affecting the Parish and is able to place their comments before the Officers and Members at the District Council.
To look at all planning applications within Tetsworth, please click on the links below:
TRAVELLERS' SITE PLANNING APPLICATION
The Parish Council has voted unanimously to oppose Planning Application P15/S3936/FUL for a 12 plot Travellers' Site on land adjacent to the A40 between Tetsworth and Milton Common. A short article encouraging Tetsworth residents to comment to SODC on the proposal during the consultation window can be viewed here.
5th January 2016
Thank you for inviting me to attend the meeting last night to discuss the planning application for the site between Tetsworth and Milton Common. I was pleased to be able to come along for the first part and only sorry that I had to leave to get back ready for the restart of Parliament today. Having been in touch with your District and County Councillors this morning I understand that the rest of the meeting went well.
My congratulations to those who organised the meeting and those who made the presentations. It was well-structured and I am sure would have been much appreciated by those who attended. I am pleased that so many people turned out to support you.
The planning process is a quasi-judicial process and as such there is no role for an MP in the determination of specific applications. As was explained at the meeting it is for the parish council and residents to make their views known to the planning authority, the District Council. It is the duty of the planning authority to determine any application submitted and it must do so in accordance with national and local planning policy. I reiterate the important point made that objections to an application must be on planning grounds. Emotional arguments and personal views do not carry weight. As the parish council is making a recommendation for refusal of this application, should the district council be minded to recommend approval it should automatically be sent to the Planning Committee to be determined there. However I have encouraged Cllr Harrod to call the application in to Committee just to be sure that it gets heard in public rather than under delegated powers. This would give residents a chance to raise the concerns in a public forum and for SODC councillors sitting on the planning committee to debate the issues.
Apart from sending my thanks and congratulations to you for the meeting, my purpose in writing this morning is to encourage you and all residents to submit your comments to SODC in the allotted time frame. I appreciate the number of concerns that you all have about this application which you and your team so clearly set out at the meeting. It is important that these are raised with the council as part of due planning process and I hope that residents will do their bit by writing or emailing the council to support your work.
I would be grateful if you would pass on my thanks and encouragement to all involved.
Please do keep me informed as this progresses. If it helps, please put this e mail on your web-site.
With best wishes
John Howell OBE MP FSA
Member of Parliament for Henley
House of Commons
London, SW1A 0AA
Tel. 020 7219 6676
POWER POINT SLIDES FROM 4TH JANUARY MEETING