Friday, March 22, 2013

The vagaries of the RCT planning System

There were some very odd items on the RCT Development Control agenda this evening.  There was the case of the barking dogs for example.  A planning application had been submitted to retain a kennels in the Cynon Valley.  The opponents were the brothers and sisters of the applicant – all four of them.  They said it devalued the cottage alongside which had been left to them by their father.

One of the brothers offered to play a recording of the dogs barking “it only lasts a minute.”  The Chair declined. 

The application was approved, against officer’s recommendation, when the local Member spoke up in favour.  The applicant and objectors left, and decided to start a fight outside the Chamber.  All made for a lively meeting.

There were other applications equally interesting although for different reasons.  Like the application to build houses in Coedely – the ward of the Chair of Development Control committee Bob McDonald.

The Officer’s recommendation was to turn it down, for solid reasons as far as I could see.

 To quote the report:

“Set in this context it is important to consider that the application site lies entirely outside the settlement boundaries of Tonyrefail and Coedely where new residential development is strictly controlled unless adequately justified as an exception in an otherwise unsustainable location.

Under LDP Policy AW 3 the DAS refers to the proposed 7 dwellings for social rent and the proposed 25 dwellings for first-time buyers as bringing forward an affordable housing scheme. However, there is no evidence of the proposal being linked to a registered social landlord, such as a housing association, or a clear explanation as to the mechanism that will ensure the dwellings will be sold as affordable homes to first-time buyers and remain affordable in perpetuity.”

Yet the Chair asked that the application be deferred as he had no real objections to the plans but wanted more bungalows included.  These would be the bungalows that the developer claims would be linked to a social landlord but which the Planning Officer says there is no evidence of.

 Strange. Perhaps Cllr McDonald knows something the rest of us don’t?



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