LETTER: Concern over planning application process

A CURRENT Planning Application in Bosham is causing concern.

It has attracted a large number of objection letters and the decision is well over its noral time to be completed.

More worrying is that the application’s documentation on the CDC planning website is contradictory. There is a mention of pre-application consultation with Planners.

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There is a reference to applicant not complying with pre-app advice given as the result would be “difficult to build” - this is not a planning criteria. And the applicant says he has had no pre-planning meetings with the Council. A request to Planners for copies of minutes of any such meetings was denied, stating “confidentiality”, intimating such a meeting was held.

In response to a Freedom of Information request the Council again declined to release these minutes - if in fact they exist - claiming an exemption. Such exemptions can normally be sustained only if the information’s release would open the Council to being taken to court. I’m at a loss to think how a conversation about windows and doors could result in that. And why the secrecy? I understand the South Downs National Park normally releases such information.

With the pressure on all councils to build more and more houses in the near future, I believe the planning operation must be above suspicion of outside influence, which this application is not.

David Weston

Shore Road,