Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Planning Problems

An interesting thread starting to appear around the story involving local planning. I would be very interested to know why the council planning department has not taken action in regard to a sign in Westgate’s Canterbury road as one of our readers alleges in his correspondence.

He or she writes:

“I contacted TDC planning by telephone and spoke to the officer dealing with this application advising that no action had taken place with reference to the sign and lights. After one further month the sign etc., were still as previous. I contacted the same planning officer by e-mail asking for an update and seeking to know if an extension had been granted for the work to be carried out and advising that the sigh was now attracting graffiti artists (the graffiti now having been removed). A confirmation e-mail advising that my e mail was received by TDC was received by me. One further month later without any action being taken and without a reply from the planning officer concerned I again contacted the planning officer by e-mail. Yet again a receipt of my e-mail was received. We are now 35 days later still without a reply from the planning officer and no changes to the sign.”

Would anyone from TDC care to comment on this apparent delay in taking remedial action?

18 comments:

Anonymous said...

Ah ! so its not only Councillors who get ignored when emailing Officers,,,,,,,,,,,
May I suggest that you complain to the Councils Monitoring Officer,,

http://www.thanet.gov.uk/advice__benefits/council_departments/complaints_procedure/how_to_make_a_complaint.aspx

That SHOULD produce a response,,,,

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the information: would a complaint to the "Councils Monitoring Officer" produce a better response than the Local Government Ombudsman or would this possibly be another delaying tactic for the council and not a black mark against it

CS

Anonymous said...

CS again.

Look under www.ukplanning.co.uk
look under Thanet then type in ref No A/TH/06/0067
just in case you have any doubts concerning the application and conditions.

CS

James Maskell said...

I would think talking to the Council before calling in the Ombudsman is the best thing to do.

stuart said...

I understand why you feel that communication channels need to be improved but can't really see what the problem is with this sign.

I don't think the sign looks out of keeping or is particularly large etc. Signage is very important to most businesses and being in that position i'd guess passing traffic is quite important.

Sometimes we like to complain about things that don't really matter that much!

Anonymous said...

I have looked at making complaints to Ombudsman and they will not entertain you until you have complained to TDC's Chief Executive and used their complaints procedure. I have bored readers in the past with TDC's Planning Dept's lack of grip in enforcement matters. Two Chimneys Caravan park is still the most visually intrusive caravan park on the Isle of Thanet and no planting on its bund has ocurred. Will it happen this year? The Planning Dept allowed development into 20 acres of land on the basis that the rather good planting scheme attached to the application was implemented after settlement of the bund. How much time does a bund need to settle?; one year! Other instances abound; the Wheel in Godden's Gap; the fencing in Dreamland to mention just two. It is long overdue for our Councillor's to look into the inadequacies of their Planning Dept that I believe has been rated one of the poorest in the land.

Anonymous said...

If you dont try and resolve the problem with the local council before calling in the Ombudsman he/she will only refer you back,,,

the Councils Monitoring Officer is Mr. Paul Moore.

Anonymous said...

Moan moan moan. Someone has put a sign up. Big deal, get over it. As for emailing someone why don't you get into gear and actually write a proper letter or are you too lazy?

Anonymous said...

I have not seen the sign, but the TDC photograph shows a gaudy incongruous light blue, totally out of character with a listed building. I note a condition states this should be dark green and assume that is the problem.

Keep up the pressure. You have to submit an official complaint to the Chief Executive at TDC first, before the Ombudsman.

DrMoores said...

Polite would be nice and suggesting that the author is lazy is uncalled for a sthe evidence is quite to the contrary

Anonymous said...

While I don't like the sign I do think there are much more important things to worry about, even in Westgate.
Let's deal with the big stuff first, I think that's what TDC and the Police are trying to do with pretty much everything at the moment, its annoying to have to put up with the low level bad stuff that happens but there is only so much time and money to go round and prioritising is essential.
Is St Augustines Japanese owned? I seem to remeber hearing something about it a few years ago, never been there but is it any good?
I think the building is quite ugly, wouldn't worry me if it was pulled down but what would go up instead?
(Thats not really a question, it would be retirement flats I suppose)

DrMoores said...

Actually I found St Augustines to be a very good venue. It's really a hotel/conference facility able to host weddings as well in its listed chapel, which is outstanding. Good restaurant too.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for all your comments and assistance.

If an e-mail achieves the same outcome as a letter why incur extra expense i.e secretary reading post and delivering to the right department/person, officers time dictating reply, typist time typing reply, officers time correcting , typist time re-typing, back to officer to re-read and sign, postage, total cost £20?
E-mail free and by return.

I am sure someone will still make some snide comment.

CS

Anonymous said...

The sign and lights are quite outrageous when compared to a shopfront and blind that have incurred the wrath of TDC. If Cllr Kirby means what he says, he might like to enforce a modest green sign with no lights and get on with it. At the same time he might like to put his enforcement officers to work at Two Chimneys so that the sign that has to be removed, is removed, and more importantly, this winter the bund is planted. If it had been planted at the earliest opportunity, those ghastly mobile homes would now be hidden from view from Shottendane and Minster Roads.

Anonymous said...

So Anonymous 10.15,, are you Cllr Charles Hibbard in disguise,,,I assume you are one of those people who like Cllr Hibbard dilikes 'those ghastly mobile homes ' because they attract " the wrong type of person".
( As observed by Myself ) Presumably you would be one of the first to berate TDC for not doing enough to attract tourists while at the same time moaning about something that will attract people to the area, who will in turn spend money in Thanet,,, unlike giving £10.000 to a foreign group to bring people into KIA and then bus them straight to Canterbury to 'spend a couple of days before moving on ' see here .

anyway I digress had you read this about halfway down headed Trouble 't Mill you may begin to understand why performance at TDC is going rapidly downhill..


what was that story about someone fiddling while somwewhere burnt???


Observer,,,,,,,,,

couldnt login for some reason...

Anonymous said...

HOPEFULLY the final words?

If the planning department grant planning permission with conditions shouldn't these conditions be met? Otherwise STUART lets all do as we please...as we see so often.

REPLY TO 7:59pm if he comes back

Rather than Critcise. Look up TDC web site then A-Z Services. Look under C you will see Complaints on Line. one assumed that this is what the facility is for. If its available use it.

FURTHER

To you I might be lazy but then I am retired and I do have disabilities.
Perhaps one should engage brain before opening mouth.
Perhaps this person would never dream of apologising as he /she is so perfect

CS

Anonymous said...

No 1.11pm,just someone who sat in a planning meeting at TDC and was upset by Cllr Hibbards remarks as all he did was antagonise the Committee. What was amazing was to hear a Planning Officer tell the meeting that TCs could not be seen as it was screened by a bund!

Absolutely no discussion took place concerning lack of implementation of planning requirements and the simple fact that further expansion of this site was contrary to TDCs own policies concerning agricultural land and landscape areas was not even raised or considered.

All, many people ,would like to see, is a consistent approach in planning matters and fair, across the board ENFORCEMENT when planning requirements are ignored. If a Minster caravan park's very modest expansion on a fully screened site had to be referred to a FULL COUNCIL MEETING why was TCs application not referred? No, I'm all for attracting visitors, but at what cost? Or is it a way of providing accommodation for locals on the cheap.? 1000 homes at Westwood Cross is creating a furore but the new village of 'Shottendane' of 700 mobile homes on two sites is quietly ignored? If our Councillor's, in their wisdom approved TCs application, then that is the decision taken and I accept it and I wish TCs every success in promoting a prosperous business. However it is still the task of the Planning Dept to enforce its laid down requirements when an application has been approved and goes ahead.

I have heard on the grapevine that as well as a bunch of 'contracted ' anti-fly tipping operatives, TDC is now contracting out Planning Applications to 'contractors' in Canterbury and also in Dover and that refusals of applications are being made without any knowledge of the local area and environs and without site visits; i.e. a paper exercise to clear the backlog by saying NO!

With the amount of building going on and intended all over the Isle, was no provision made to ENLARGE the overworked Planning Dept by the controlling group at TDC or is 'contracting out' their solution?

Anonymous said...

IOTG has adverts for lots of Planning Dept posts to remedy the situation.

I have advice on how to play the Planning Game unlike the Mr Jaspal Sohal and his blinds in Minster Rd Westgate (£2000 fine and £75 costs).

Put up signs without permission(don't be foolish and apply for Planning Permission); no one from TDC Planning will appear to notice for 4 years until a passing query is made to them; if challenged by TDC Planning then apply for permission and should you get turned down still keep the offending items in place and Appeal. With luck, no objections will be made, the Planning Dept gives in because its work load is too great and you get what you want.

Personally, I don't see how this differs from the wrong done by Mr Sohal. The only difference is he asked first and then did his own thing; so don't ask and do your own thing is OK?