We have had serious concerns about the unhealthy input Developers have been allowed in progressing our Draft Local Plan. This inappropriate input has allowed developers to change the plan in their favour, such as the requirement for the BGGC Relief Road to be completed in one piece, it has now been split into two sections, allowing developers to build what they like effectively without ever completing the Road until they want to. We know that once the Local Plan process is finished TMBC will be very reluctant to oppose any deviation from the Plan. We could end up with the bulk of the 3000 houses without any traffic relief at all.
But not content with this TMBC have tried to further corrupt the process when the Draft Plan was debated at PTAB on the 24th July. This emaill tries to coneacl the vote. There were serious concerns voiced across the Board, and when the Chairman called the Vote, only 4 supported the Plan, with 5 against, and 3 abstentions. The Chairman glossed over this, called it a draw, and approved it with his casting vote. We objected after the meeting and since, but were assured the vote declared was correct. However, there is a video of the meeting which shows exactly what happened, so a month after saying the vote was OK, we get this Letter from Borough Solicitor , admitting the "irregularities", and blaming it on an anonymous mysterious person who got counted by mistake. What is really worrying is that the TMBC Legal Department tell us the Council do not have to take any notice of the Planning and Transportation Board's decision, it was only a "recomendation" anyway. What is the point of having a democratic scrutiny process if is completely ignored by the Executive when it disagrees with what they want for us.
The PTAB Minutes 24 July do not show the vote, only that the Recomendation was approved, and those false minutes are still posted on the TMBC website today (26 Aug).
Also worrying is this extract from the PTAB OFFICER's REPORT that clearly shows the unhealthy collusion between Planning Officers and Developers behind the scenes.
"1.2.10 Following further consideration, including discussions with the consortium proposing the development at Borough Green, it has been confirmed that given the significant cost of the construction of the relief road, limiting the number of houses that could be built before the whole road is completed to 200 or 6.7% of the total, would seriously impede the deliverability of the overall site. However, what has been examined is the assurance of the completion of the first part of the relief road, from the Dark Hill roundabout on the A25 in the west to the A227, within phase 1 of the development and before the completion of 200 dwellings. The remainder of the relief road will then follow immediately as part of the second phase and be completed as previously envisaged."
Developers should only be allowed to submit their plans During the Call for Sites, and to defend those sites to the Inspector at the Examination, they should not be allowed to "tweak" OUR Plan in its draft stages.
The picture below was taken during the vote, and the square shows the "missing" councillor.