Shortly before we were due to meet Rossendale Council’s planning team at the Community Centre, we received this letter from Mike Atherton (Head of Planning and Building Control). In this letter, which was written in response to our letter of 24th November, Mike Atherton confirmed the rules under which the council must operate. Including the fact that within planning law there is no provision to delay a consultation or planning application. This confirms that the timing of the Taylor Wimpey Master Plan and associated planning application were down to Taylor Wimpey.
Mr Atherton goes on to explain that the design code and Master Plan must be progressed so that they can inform and influence the planning application. Mr Atherton states that there is no requirement to notify Edenfield residents, other than the immediate neighbours of the development. A point which he reiterated when we met him on Tuesday at the consultation meeting.
The council’s position is that there is no requirement for the council to notify the wider population of Edenfield and that they have met their statutory requirements in terms of notifying neighboursand posting site notices in Edenfield. In addition the council is not required to hold “drop-in” sessions or local consultations. The letter states that “The consultation was advertised on the Council’s website, where all interested parties have been able to view documents. The documents are also available to view at the Council Offices, for those people who do not have access to the internet. Therefore, for you to assert, ‘ECNF believes that this is in breach of planning regulations,’ is wholly inaccurate.”
Mr Atherton confirms in his final paragraph that “…the Masterplan and Design Codes would be determined before any planning application …. I can confirm that this remains the case and the planning application will not be decided until the Masterplan and Design Codes have been determined.”
At the time of writing, ECNF have not received a response to our letter sent to council leader, Alyson Barnes in October.