Turnstone: Procedural error recalls past mistakes on Hunstanton planning issues

C131233-3 Chi Battery Hens  phot kate''Irene Clarke at the Old Gardens Animal Rescue Centre in Sidlesham with some of the 600 former battery hens which they have rescued and are now trying to re-home.Picture by Kate Shemilt.C131233-3 ENGSUS00120130409142604
C131233-3 Chi Battery Hens phot kate''Irene Clarke at the Old Gardens Animal Rescue Centre in Sidlesham with some of the 600 former battery hens which they have rescued and are now trying to re-home.Picture by Kate Shemilt.C131233-3 ENGSUS00120130409142604
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According to Ray Harding, chief executive of West Norfolk Council, the planning committee will have to reconsider an application for the Lynnsport link road, because of a ‘procedural error’, which gave a disproportionate amount of time to the council in its capacity as the applicant.

Opponents of this controversial scheme will now be allowed equal time to present their case.

At the risk of upsetting Mr Newman (Lynn New letters March 31) it should be remembered that a similar procedural error occurred in September 2002, when an application for the infamous ‘non pier’ at Hunstanton was under consideration.

Unfortunately, on that occasion Mr Harding’s predecessor declined to intervene and ensure that the correct procedure was followed.

This is just one valid reason for expecting Mr Harding to address an issue that has such far reaching consequences, even if it means admitting to a string of procedural errors and taking appropriate remedial action. There is nothing nonsensical about a proposition of this kind.

Perhaps Mr Newman, and anyone else who thinks the pier saga has been done to death in this column, should trot along to the Princess Theatre at 7.30 tonight for the showing of ‘Barnacle Bill’, which launches the new Film Club...

Of more immediate concern is the potential loss of a third of the spaces in the car park next to the Princess Theatre, revealed in the Lynn News on March 31 (page 11) where regeneration portfolio holder Alistair Beales was reported as admitting that he was minded to conclude such an agreement, if sufficient financial compensation could be secured from McCarthy & Stone for use of the car park during the construction of 32 ‘later living’ apartments on adjacent land.

Surely, disposal of public land, whether permanent or temporary, requires the council to conduct a Section 123 consultation.

Whilst on the subject of procedure, it is worth remembering that when objecting to planning applications it is important to concentrate on planning issues.

Therefore, as far as the recently proposed poultry factory at Sedgeford is concerned, animal welfare issues are not worth mentioning!

Although this application has now been withdrawn by the developers, it is expected that a further application will follow.

So, when it comes to any future application for a scheme of this type, the grounds for objection must be concerned with human health and the adverse impact of several large factory units on a rural landscape.

Last Tuesday this column focused on a perceived need for parishes in this corner of northwest Norfolk to work together.

The offensive odour from a proposed poultry factory like this will drift on the wind and this could turn out to be the catalyst needed to unite Hunstanton with the surrounding villages in opposing a development that has the potential to harm the tourist industry, on which many businesses depend, as well as spoiling the quality of life experienced by inhabitants.