Wednesday, 31 March 2010

Cumberland News reports of Carlisle City Council planning blunders

Page Contents
  1. Carlisle City Council planning officers fail to notify resident about neighbour's extension
  2. Planning officers fail to notify residents of 3 storey extension for 6 flats
  3. Planning officers mislaid petition opposing new homes - Planning Committee not notified of 44 signature petition 
Carlisle City Council planning officers fail to notify resident about neighbour's extension

In 2003 planning officers failed to notify residents in Teasdale Road of a planning application for an extension to a neighbour's house. The extension was 2 metres in front of the building line and caused loss of light to the resident's house. The Local Government Ombudsman found maladministration and recommended the council pay £500 as a contribution to the resident's removal expenses and their time and trouble.

This case shows the inconsistencies of the Local Government Ombudsman's decisions. In other cases where planning permission has been granted for an extension without notifying neighbours, the LGO have recommend councils pay the reduction in the value of the house in addition to a payment for time and trouble.

The Local Government Ombudsman commended the council for reviewing and amending its procedures to prevent faults and failures in the planning process reoccurring. But in 2007 the bungling planning officers repeat the same error when they failed to notify residents in Coledale Mews about a planning application for 6 flats.
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In August 2007 planning permission was granted to build a 3 storey extension to a property in Coledale Mews Carlisle to create 6 three bedroom flats, but incompetent planning officers had failed to notify neighbours of the planning application.

One resident reported the council to the Local Government Ombudsman. There is no published Local Government Ombudsman report of this. So has the Local Government Ombudsman hidden this case of maladministration from the public by way of a local settlement, or conned the resident into closing the case without any redress for their injustice. I think we should be told.
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In January 2008 Carlisle City Council Development Control Committee granted planning permission to Story Construction Ltd for housing on 2.2 acres between Burgh Road and Moor Park Avenue. The Committee were told there had been 9 objectors to the planning application, but planning officers failed to notify the Committee of a 44 signature petition opposing the development.

Inept planning officers claim the petition was mislaid. The Head of Planning Services, Alan Eales, declared an interest in the developer, Story Construction Ltd; he declared a family member (daughter) was employed by the developer.

So a petition opposing the development was not disclosed to the Development Control Committee, and the Head of Planning Services, Alan Eales, declared an interest in the developer. Is that a coincidence?

There is no published Local Government Ombudsman report of this case. So has the Local Government Ombudsman hidden this case of maladministration from the public by way of a local settlement, or conned the petitioners into closing the case without any redress for their injustice. I think we should be told.