Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Fuse In Mouth (updated)

Richborough Power Station, as you'd expect, took most of the time to decide upon during tonight's Planning meeting with a lot of debate over how to reconcile UK Power Networks concerns regarding the electricity supply to the applicants wish to demolish the site. Cllr Dark's relatively simple condition was passed unanimously to make the demolition happen between March and November. 

The second one was rather more difficult to find agreement on, the issue being how soon before the demolition could it be stopped in case of say an outage. Cllr Everitt tried 2 hours warning which didn’t make it, deemed to be unreasonable and unenforceable by the Officers, and I think supported by only three other members (Cllrs Dark, Matterface and Gibson?) and controversially perhaps needed Cllr Dark to second the amendment after Cllr Campbell withdrew from seconding it originally, after hearing advice from the Officers and checking the report. Instead Cllr Campbell's 24 hours got the support of the Committee and the planning consent as a whole was granted unanimously with those two additional conditions.

Next up, Western Esplanade, Broadstairs, was granted consent pretty safely with some debate over whether this would be a blot on the landscape or not. Cllr Dark argued it was too close to the neighbour, which is actually a fair point as it is very close to the boundary but then again so is the current building. Most speakers were supportive of it with Cllr Gregory admitting he had his concerns about it at first but had been wrong about this sort of thing before and was happy to support it. Cllr Matterface had her concerns about the size of the development compared to the previous consent it had (a very different building though). It passed with support of all but Cllrs Gibson, Alexandrou, Dark, Everitt and Matterface.

Onto the Barretts application, where on the preview blog I put my foot in it by saying it was unsuitable for Pilgrims Hospice. The recommendation was rejected unanimously and instead was approved with a condition that this is personal to the applicant, to stop the danger of creating a precedent in the area. Happy to take it back.

On the remaining items, Chambers Wall Farm has gone to a site visit and the Ryder Avenue duo passed without debate. 
To update the preview for the Full Council meeting tonight, a late addition to the tail-end of the agenda is a change to the Council Committees in light of Cllr Ian Driver's decision to leave the Labour Group. Those who've asked whether it's genuine have had their answer with a big fat yes. Labour has to lose one Member from a Committee and the choice open to Members is that it be either Licensing or Overview and Scrutiny, leaving the Conservatives with a seat more than Labour in whichever one is picked.

I would imagine Labour would name a replacement in Overview and Scrutiny rather than lose a Member on that politically useful Committee. I could be wrong though. Details in the review tomorrow morning.

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