From ‘Its Our Cornwall’
A ‘mistake’ involving Wainhomes’ plans for 300 houses at St Austell led to the public being kept in the dark about their latest suburbanisation plans. Mistake? Or collusion? More evidence of the need for a proper, independent enquiry into Cornwall Council’s planning department. [PA16/09306]
A MISTAKE by Cornwall Council’s planning department led to Wainhomes’ pre-application for hundreds of homes in St Austell being submitted in secret.
It was revealed at a meeting of Cornwall Council’s Planning Advisory Committee that a planning officer had ticked the ‘confidential’ box on the developer’s application in “error” which was then missed by the case officer, who should have corrected it, leading to the proposals being kept hidden.
The slip up only came to light after Councillor Jackie Bull asked planning officers why she had been left in the dark despite repeatedly asking the local authority to inform her immediately if the developer revived its plans to build 300 homes behind Cornwall College after hearing rumours that an application was likely.
Senior planning officers at County Hall were asked to notify Mrs Bull as soon as pre-application advice was sought by Wainhomes, due to the scale of feeling about the previously proposed developments at Tregonissey Road.
Should not all planning applications including pre-apps be made public and open to public debate?