Planning fight

PUBLISHED: 12:09 16 February 2006 | UPDATED: 09:40 06 May 2010

I was pleasantly surprised by Brian Hall s letter Beware Appeal (The Comet February 9) where he assures me that the council cares about the character and heritage of our town. Had he conveyed these principles to the Planning and Regeneration Department of

I was pleasantly surprised by Brian Hall's letter Beware Appeal (The Comet February 9) where he assures me that the council cares about the character and heritage of our town. Had he conveyed these principles to the Planning and Regeneration Department of his council, a lot of grief, distress and anxiety among a great number of residents would have been avoided.

The planning application for 172 Fairview Road (Gunnels House) was refused unanimously by the Planning Committee because it did not conform to policies of the Stevenage District Plan Second Review. The planning officers of the Planning and Regeneration Department of Stevenage Borough Council disregarded this fact and the very strong objections and sensible arguments of the residents against the proposed development. They wrongly recommended that planning permission should be granted.

If an appeal is submitted against the council's decision, I am certain that SBC's Legal Department will rigorously defend the provisions of the town's own District Plan. Failure to do so may indeed be a costly mistake.

However, the argument that the council might in some cases have to bear the cost of a successful appeal against one of its decisions should not in any way deter residents to object and councillors to oppose any proposal that they consider contrary to regulations and common sense.

This is what freedom of speech and freedom of conviction is all about.

ALIKI FIKIOR


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