Yesterday, I spent 3 hours at the Public Meeting to decide on the Supermarket Planning Applications at The Marches School.
The council planning committee sat in a U-shape with the chairman at the centre. Around the side were various Shropshire Council Planning Officers who had fed into the Planning Report on issues such as traffic, building design etc.
Of the four proposals, the one which best met the Sequential Approach (i.e. closest to town) was discussed at length. Public speakers were also allowed to give a 3 minute presentation. This opporunity was accepted by the Oswestry Chamber of Commerce, the Trinity Residents Group and the coalition: OS21, Oswestry Civic Society and the local CPRE.
There were various oooo's and ahhhh's from the packed audience. In particular, when officers read from the report stating that, in conclusion, the appalling nature of the highways scheme and the building design were not sufficient to deem refusal. The illogical nature - to the leyman - of their conclusions were surprising, and were brought to the fore largely by Councillor Walpole. Councillor Bebb was also unconvinced by the proposals.
As an observer, I did wonder how conclusions could be arrived at that seemed to go against their supporting statements.
The three key points on which to base refusal were:
1. Unworkable Highways Scheme
2. Negative Effect on Residents Amenity
3. Over-scale and Unsensitive Building Design
The vote was taken and was unanimous with 8 to 2 councilors voting FOR the proposal that the application be refused.
Because this application had been refused, which now leaves three out-of-town proposals on the table, the council recommended that these be deferred in lieu of a Comparative Report of the three proposals.
For me, this struck me as a tactic. The council already have all the information they need and each application does not need to be COMPARED but dealt with IN IT'S OWN RIGHT!
My guess would be that the council needed some time to explore the potential legal and financial implications of refusing ALL applications currently before them.
It is thought that this next meeting won't be till Sept/Oct.
Member since: 10th July 2012
A quick introduction - I'm John Waine, Director of TheBestOfOswestry. Having lived in this beautiful area for around 20 years now, I have decided to stay. :)
With kind thanks