Reasons for court battle

PUBLISHED: 10:43 08 March 2007 | UPDATED: 11:40 06 May 2010

I am intrigued as to why Nick Cole (victim of Bully Boys – Comet February 22) chose to publicise his court action against the Foundation which he lost, with costs awarded to the Foundation. The Foundation had chosen not to publicise its legal victory.

I am intrigued as to why Nick Cole (victim of "Bully Boys" - Comet February 22) chose to publicise his court action against the Foundation which he lost, with costs awarded to the Foundation. The Foundation had chosen not to publicise its legal victory.

In any case, it is a shame that he chose to go to court - ignoring good advice from some quarters, I am told. Interestingly, it is a matter of public record that his expert witness was Cllr Raymond Smale, so some might question that councillor's impartiality in respect of what Letchworth Garden City Council is portraying as an investigation into the "strengths and weaknesses" of development control in the Garden City.

Quite how the council can reconcile that investigation with a petition currently doing the rounds in the Garden City eludes me. That petition seeks 100 signatures under Section 8 of the Scheme of Management "to terminate or vary all or any of the provisions of the Scheme or transfer any or all of the powers and rights conveyed by the Scheme to a Local Authority or other body".

The petition clearly states "Return to Letchworth Garden City Council".

Perhaps those in Letchworth Garden City who oppose the Foundation's Landlord's Consent processes would do well to speak to the residents of the second Garden City in Welwyn. There, the Scheme of Management has been managed by their Local Authority over the years and many residents are appalled at the erosion of their Garden City environment. They are currently examining the potential to bring in arrangements akin to Letchworth's so that the Scheme can be managed more effectively.

Given the petition referred to above, I hope that Letchworthians will forgive me for now discontinuing this debate through the pages of The Comet. This does not reflect any anxiety on the Foundation's part, Town Clerk, but with legal action looking likely, I am advised by our solicitors that it is better that we "keep our powder dry". A further legal victory would be crucial if the environment of our Garden City is to be protected adequately.

STUART KENNY, Director General, Letchworth Garden City Heritage Foundation

* I would like to respond and correct my neighbours the Bathmaker's who for some reason feel the need to speak out Arsene Wenger style without possession of the full facts of the case.

My planning application was, throughout its progress through the NHDC, the Heritage Foundation and in the courts, described as a garage extension. It was not the size of a house. The upper floor had a sloping roof and was to be used as a games room. Both experts agreed the distance from the boundary was one metre as required by the design guide. The alleged window was removed from the plans.

At present the next door garden is dominated by a 40ft tree. In addition there are several smaller trees in their garden which affect the area. If anyone was to take photographs of the area in question they would question what all the fuss is about particularly looking at the size of their property and the extensions they have been allowed to build over the years. It is unfortunate that your paper has elected to print a letter containing inaccuracies that now have to be corrected.

NICK COLE, Sollershott West, Letchworth Garden City


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