A week or so ago this announcement appeared in the back pages of the local paper. Can you work out what it’s all about?
We’ll give you a clue – it relates to a planning application submitted in 1988. As it happens, the application isn’t available on the council’s website, but we guessed that it relates to the Mall. Note the word ‘guessed’. The notice might comply with the statutory requirements, but there can’t be much job satisfaction in publishing something that no-one will understand.
Anyway, we went along to the council offices, where the staff were very helpful, but it still took us half an hour to find out a few facts, having waded through some bulky files of drawings and correspondence. (If only the council had put some explanation in the paper alongside the statutory notice, we wouldn’t have taken up so much of the time of its staff – and the time of council staff costs us all money.)
Eventually we found that the notice is about removing the following conditions:
“Notwithstanding the provision of the Town and Country planning General Development Order 1977, as amended, details of street furniture, including seats, lighting, refuse bins, trolleybays within malls, direction signs, planters, etc., shall be submitted to and approved by the Local Planning Authority before development commences on site…”
“Details of all replacement or relocated shop fronts within the shopping malls shall be submitted to and approved by the Local Planning Authority before such development commences on site.”
Now it strikes us that to require a mall owner to submit details of every refuse bin and seat is a bit over the top. However, we’re not so sure that shop fronts – no matter what their size or appearance – should be replaceable without the agreement of the planning authority. This is particuarly the case as we think that some of the shops concerned are those facing onto Obelisk Way, outside the Mall. A sensible degree of control is needed, so we’ll probably submit an objection, opposing any complete carte blanche.
(For the record we should point out that, though the newspaper notice – unhelpfully – fails to mention it, a planning application giving more detail was subsequently published on the council website. It’s application 17/0257.)
There must be more to life than wading through all this stuff!!