My day on the Development Control Committee deciding planning applications.

I am a substitute for the Development Control committee so if someone is sick or can’t attend I am sometimes asked to be part of the committee. Today was such a day.

There were three items to decide. The first one was for a new all weather pitch at The New Croft, Chalkstone Way in Haverhill. After much discussion about car parking and noise for neighbours we voted to approve the application. This is a great investment for Haverhill and will help to play a part in promoting health and well-being for the town. Got my vote.

Second up was interesting. It was at Porters Farm in Chedburgh. The proposal was for 4 glamping pods and a huge building for the provision of health practices using animals. A great benefit for mental health. But, it also proposed a 16 car carpark and a road through the site all within a few yards of the grade 2 listed main house. The neighbours were not happy nor was the local council member. It felt like the right idea on the wrong site. This was a “mindful to not approve”. This means officers will have to carry out a risk assessment on the decision to not approve and bring it back to the next committee meeting. The idea is that councillors get to see all the risks associated with going against the officer recommendation.

Thirdly, the All Saints Hotel in Fornham St Genevieve was applying for retrospective planning permission for an outside gym. Officers recommended to approve it. My hackles rose on this one. The hotel has a long history of submitting planning applications, so it knows how to do it. Instead, they have gone ahead and chopped down loads of trees and built things without permission and now want retrospective permission. It was in the wrong place, too many trees were chopped down, it is too noisy for neighbours and, and, and. This is not good enough. The parishioner who spoke was elderly and brought to tears over the distress it has caused her. I was thrilled for her when we all voted not to approve it.

So, the reason for blogging about this is that sometimes folk tell me they don’t have a voice and things are going to happen what ever we say. Two of the above were rejected by councillors against officer recommendations. There is always hope.

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