Day: 7 October 2021

Ironbridge: Ruling that late report on Gaskell Arms Junction traffic was immaterial

I can’t say I am happy with this. The fundamental rule on planning is that committee members must consider all the evidence before them and that should be all the available evidence. But a report written for the committee on traffic at the Gaskell Arms Junction was not available until two days after the Southern Planning Committee approved the application for redevelopment of the former power station site at Buildwas. I challenged this but that challenge has now been rejected by the chief monitoring officer who says if councillors had seen the report, they would not have made a different decision. That’s wrong in my book. It is not for officers to judge what the committee might or might not have done if they had seen the report. Planning committees must weigh the planning balance. They cannot do that if a report commissioned for members is withheld until after decisions are made. It is clear that the legal officer responding had not read the reports but had “been assured” by the officers who pushed the report though committee. This is broken planning.

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