Day: 31 October 2015

The Bromfield Meadows housing inquiry – tough, tedious and at times temperamental

My annoyance could not be hidden in my closing remarks to the public inquiry. The planning inspector was getting a bit annoyed with me too. I had really had enough by then. The developer, Tesni, has been heavy handed in pursuing this development from day one. Their public consultation was minimal, limited to a letter drop of nearby houses and an online consultation that few people knew about. They had insisted on an adversarial public inquiry not an inquisitorial hearing. An inquiry is much like a court case with barristers concentrating as much on legal rules to stop arguments being made as presenting a case for or against a development. A hearing is a round table discussion, tightly controlled but less concerned with rules than discovering the merits or otherwise of a development. The inquiry was held, appropriately, in the Ludlow Room in Shirehall. To my left was the Tesni team – a planning barrister flanked by Tesni’s agent and transport consultant. To my right, two council planning officers. I had a desk of my own as a Rule 6 party – a legal status I had taken on to ensure my arguments were fully heard. I faced the inspector…

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