- Created on 08 January 2013
The outline planning application for Heygate redevelopment is to be considered at the planning committee meeting in Tooley Street on Tuesday 15th January, from 18:00.
Last year, local residents and community groups have wasted a considerable amount of time trying to convince the council's decision-makers that a more sensible discussion about the outline planning application was needed. They suggested that, considering the amount of deeply worrying shortcomings of the application and its scale and significance, the Southwark Council allowed one or two days for the debate, which would enable more of the 200+ local objectors to raise their concerns. King's Cross Regeneration was given as an example of a precedent.
Cllr Nick Dolezal said no.
We had worked out that, if all of the 200+ objectors wanted to make their point during the total of three minutes allocated for 'objections' at a planning committee meeting, they would each have less than a second to do so.
A few days ago, some local residents and groups tweeted Cllr Peter John asking for a much longer debate about the application. Cllr Peter John had time to tweet about David Cameron's something or other, but is yet to answer any of the local residents' questions about this most significant development.
Yesterday, the council announced that the objections timeslot has been extended to the whole of, wait for it, FIVE MINUTES.
If you can think of any publishable words to describe this major? concession? democracy? please let us know.
To add insult to injury, Gary Rice recommends.
The council's planners have collated their thoughts and analysis of the planning application and, wait for it, are recommending that the application be approved.
Because, although the local objectors are saying 25% affordable housing is in breach of the council's minimum 35% affordable housing, it isn't.
Because, although the local objectors are saying providing car parking is in breach of the council's car-free development, it isn't.
Because, although the local objectors have been extremely worried about loss of mature trees, and although the planners' report states 'a total of 283 trees are proposed for removal in order to facilitate the development which represents 70% of the trees within the site', the new space created will provide a positive gain for biodiversity in the area.
And that's just the beginning of pages and pages of most sickening and at times, utterly black-is-white, iceberg which you can download from the council's website.
A significant amount of local objectors work in planning, transport, environment, etc. A significant amount of local objectors have lived in the area for a long time and have loved and been passionate about their area for as long. Most importantly, all of the local objectors are Southwark residents who continue to be disregarded and whose genuine needs and aspirations continue to be dismissed in favour of the developer's.
Gary Rice, Head of Development Management, is not known for ever paying any attention to what the local residents are saying and that's been an ongoing concern for a while now. The fact that he is happy to put his name on a most shameful 'recommendation' speaks volumes about who matters.
That the local 'elected representatives' don't care either may not be news, but this 'regeneration' has, better than anything else we can think of, shown exactly where things are at.
The self-imposed delusion that the existing system, with the unaccountable local government officers and equally unaccountable councillors, works, will not go on for much longer.
We urge you to come along to the planning committee meeting on 15th January, from 18:00 at the council's offices in Tooley Street.