I shouldn’t joke about this, it is really very serious but, there are times when I feel like an agony aunt. I have clients coming through the door with all sorts of problems…things like: “My Councillor is ignoring me” or “The planning officer is not responding to my e-mails” or “the local NIMBYs printed a picture of my face and it is in the middle of the dart board at the local pub”. And so, the list carries on… and on… and on…
I always have advice and most of the time I know what cages to rattle or who to talk to. I NEVER have to ask anyone to bend the rules (and neither should anyone in this world and if anyone offers to bend the rules for you, RUN! PC Plod will be on their heels.) All I need to do is to ask them to facilitate a dialogue. A call, a meeting, Teams meeting whatever. The best advice always is TALK. All this “sending an e-mail” is a load of old cobblers. People don’t read the things properly and to have a healthy exchange of views in e-mails is impossible as the e-mails would get as long as War & Peace.
I can give you an example from my own experience… I (with a friend and business partner) dabble in a bit of property development ourselves. A little while ago we came across a site… A burnt-out pub in a small village that has another thriving pub. The pub also comes with a car park that used to have houses on it (we even have a historic photo showing the houses!). So, it is a very simple application: turn the pub into three homes and then build a row of four terraced cottages and one bigger house. So, five new homes on a site previously used for housing and then a burnt-out pub. (Did I mention that the pub, before it burnt down, was a magnet for bikers and pagans and the car park an informal travellers site?)
We did our consultation – nothing spectacular came out of it, the usual NIMBYs said the few new houses will gridlock the roads etc. The Councillor is on our side, the Parish is content… The planning application goes in and the case officer is allocated. The case officer asks for an extension of time and works with us and then out of the blue announces that there are all sorts of problems with the site, and she couldn’t possibly support it and then gave us two days to respond to her long list of comments (after we gave her a month).
Nice. Thank you so much.
Can we get anyone at the council to talk to us and have a sensible conversation? Can we bugger!
Ugh, it just feels better to get it off my chest. When you come to us at the CCP, we REALLY do know and understand the pain and suffering you go through!
Until next week!
Ps. Please do look at my fellow agony aunts, all ready to help! You can see them here: https://theccp.net/who/