Here is the content of an email I sent to Central Bedfordshire Council’s Executive Committee on 6th November 2017 about false information, the subject of my last blog post on 29th October 2017, ‘Is Central Bedfordshire Council’s Cllr Nigel Young misleading the Council’s Executive Committee with false information?’.

Thank you for your reply to my email about false information. I have contacted the Planning Inspectorate about the planning appeal decision APP/P0240/W/16/3166033. They referred me to the Planning Court at The Royal Courts of Justice. The Planning Court undertakes judicial reviews of planning decisions and hears legal challenges to other planning decisions. One conclusion drawn after reviewing planning court listings and judgements is Central Bedfordshire Council has not legally challenged this planning appeal decision and neither has the Secretary of State quashed the decision of the planning Inspector hearing this appeal.

As none of you have responded to my request to publish your reply to my email about false information, another conclusion that can be drawn is your reply itself contains false information. Information that can be easily refuted by people who either have knowledge of legally challenging planning decisions or of the judicial review process, or can use Google to view the business of the Planning Court! Executive Committee members; to enhance your credibility amongst Councillors, Council planners and employees, developers and public, I encourage you to publish all evidence supporting your assertions made about a legal challenge and a quashed decision on the Council’s online planning database.

The report by Connie Frost-Bryant I cited in my email sets out the risks the people of Central Bedfordshire will face if the Local Plan’s shortened development cycle is not approved. These risks are; 1) no planning framework for determining planning applications or defending unwanted development because the Council’s planning policies will be out of date, and 2) the lack of a 5-year land supply due in part to delays in implementing Houghton Regis North Site1 development plans. These risks are significant and will probably occur before the Local Plan is approved irrespective of an approved shortened development cycle as it is unsustainable for the Council to continue to defend its planning decisions with threats of legal challenges to the decisions of planning inspectors who are ultimately responsible for approving the Council’s Local Plan. 

Because the Council’s threat tactic has merely resulted in a decision to rehear planning appeal APP/P0240/W/16/3166033; this appeal is from Gladman Developments Limited who want to build 78 houses on land between Taylors Road and Astwick Road Stotfold, the Council will not have a solid defence against unwanted development at Stotfold and across the rest of Central Bedfordshire, while it waits for a date for the rehearing of the appeal or for the approval of its Local Plan. Also in the short term, without a solid defence provided by a robust planning framework and a 5-year land supply the Council’s Development Management Committee (DMC) will not be able to properly determine planning applications. For example, on the 24th November 2017 another planning application (CB/17/04146/OUT) from Gladman Developments Limited who want to build 100 houses on land west of Astwick Road Stotfold, is scheduled to be determined by the DMC.   

A lack of effective leadership and decision taking by Cllr. James Jamieson and Cllr. Nigel Young over the past decade, and more recently, by the Director of Regeneration Jason Longhurst has left the people of Central Bedfordshire without a robust and effective development framework or a Local Plan that meets their needs (ref: ).

Clearly the Council does not have a development framework, a 5-year land supply or a Local Plan due to the decisions taken by the Council rather than because of decisions taken by the Secretary of State; Department for Communities and Local Government and the Planning Inspectorate. Or to put it another way the Council has no one else to blame for not having these essential planning tools in place other than itself!