Tesco submit planning application for KeyworthTagged as: local-communities
As Tesco submits its panning application campaigners are hampered by the local authority
The people of Keyworth heard last week that Tesco had submitted a planning application for the much opposed store in their village. Tesco followed form and waited until the first week of the school holidays, when people will be away, to submit the application. The submission comes after several private meetings between Tesco and Rushcliffe Borough Council’s (RBC) planners who say that the community has only 21 days for consultation!
So it is Tesco and RBC on one side and the community of the Keyworth on the other. The undermining of the community’s campaign by RBC is shocking and some examples demonstrate this.
At the start of the campaign an RBC planning officer requested that people to not write individually to them to object as they do not have the resources to deal with this. They recommended that a petition should be sent instead. This is a complete deception: a petition, even with thousands of signatures, on carries the same weight as one objection!
The most damning and worrying evidence of RBC’s collusion/incompetence is in a shocking letter sent by Rushcliffe’s Head of Planning to the campaign recently : -
"A site the size of Selby Lane would not necessarily have been one where developers would consult with the local community and I am pleased that TESCO have held a public exhibition. The purpose of developers in engaging with the local community is for the developers to understand the local views and where feasible to take on board changes to their schemes to reflect those views rather than for letters to be sent to the Council. I would anticipate that any application they may submit would include a statement about the views expressed to them.
Ms S D Harley
Head of Planning and Place Shaping"
Note that the letter refers to the purpose of Tesco’s exhibition. RBC cannot know Tesco’s purpose, only what Tesco claim was their purpose. Uncritical parroting of Tesco’s claims displays blatant bias.
But even worse, the letter states that RBC planners are happy to listen to Tesco’s account of the community’s views and save the community the bother of writing to the Council to object !
Tesco had a mini exit questionnaire at their exhibition but admitted on three separate occasions that the results would not be independently audited, nor was the survey independently designed or administered.
It is not possible to know whether RBC’s actions and attitude is due to incompetence or collusion although until we obtain further evidence we should give the benefit of the doubt and suspect the former.
The trouble is Tesco are not incompetent at what they do – they are very, very good.
It is just a pity that our local authority has neither the will nor skill to remain impartial.
Update: RBC report they found technical problems with Tesco’s initial planning application and have asked them to resubmit. We will have to speculate about what is behind this – it is not as if Tesco don’t know how to put together a planning application!
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