THE BID by opponents of crematorium development on Catfoot Lane Lambley to have the planning approval overturned due to apparent procedural irregularities has failed. Opposition group CCOG had appealed to the National Planning Control Unit (NCPU) to intervene and prevent Gedling Borough Council from ratifying the controversial decision.
The decision by NCPU allows Gedling to proceed with ratification. CCOG is now hoping that members of the public will appeal directly to the council to overturn the decision, made at the planning committee meeting on 8 May 2013.
CCOG says: “The letter from the NPCU states that they encourage issues to be resolved at the local level (ie, Gedling Borough Council). We would therefore urge anyone who believes the decision is wrong, or has concerns about the process by which the decision was reached, writes to John Robinson, chief executive at Gedling Borough Council : email@example.com and raise a formal complaint on the following link : https://apps.gedling.gov.uk/(
CCOG wants people to write with their own concerns, but says some points to consider might be:
- The applications (2012/6016 and 2012/0799) were considered without a specific vote on the issue of need, despite this being planned on the agenda
- Statistical data, a previous decision in 2009, and some planning committee members on the night, all indicated that there is ‘no need’ for an additional crematorium and therefore both applications should have been refused.
- The vote on the Westerleigh Crematorium Applications was only 9/8 in favour with one abstention. Because the vote on the Introductory Report (regarding need) was omitted, the very special circumstances for any crematorium to be built in the greenbelt were never established. The hearing was therefore flawed.
- The ‘technical briefing’ which took place on 28 January 2013 was originally tabled by Gedling Borough Council as a ‘closed’ meeting between planning officers, planning committee members, and the applicants. Due to information being leaked, Gedling Borough Council decided to make the meeting public, but only with one working days’ notice before the meeting, and those in opposition were instructed not to speak. A barrister’s opinion was that this was outside of Gedling Borough Council’s own protocols and afforded unfair advantage to the applicants. Gedling Borough was advised of this prior to the meeting, but continued with it anyway.