Saturday, December 18, 2010

Special School Approval - Were the public screwed?

By now, I'd hope that you readers are aware that West Sussex County Council approved their own plans to build a new special school on land currently occupied by Oakmeeds Community College.

The local print media have been holding back on writing any strong articles on the news, with only a few small bits and pieces from the Middy when a member of the public has written in to let their annoyance over the decision be known to the readership.

In this week's Middy there was a letter printed from David Hinkley in which he claims the planning application was a 'done deal' from the start and that the petitions and the points raised against the development were not given enough weight by West Sussex Councty Council when they met to make a ruling over whether to give the new school the green light.

Mr Hinkley quite rightly questioned the whole democratic process and suggested that central goverment put rules into place to stop a council approving a planning application which is opposed by a majority without fair consideration.

Mr Hinkley informs readers that he was at the planning meeting when the decision was made. David and his fellow opponents got to speak at the meeting to raise some points and presented a detailed traffic survey that had been privately financed by those opposed to the plans. Mr Hinkley revealed that the council IGNORED the report!

The whole thing does stink, it really does. It seems that the public opposed to the planning application would have needed to have hired a rather large legal team to even have had the most remote chance of preventing the council from approving their own plans.

This doesn't have to be the end of the matter. Time to purchase chains and padlocks and head for the Oak trees the night before the bulldozers are due.


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