Saturday, November 20, 2004

Today dawned cold, crisp and frosty. A good day to visit the church Christmas fair in Yarm, and to order the Christmas turkey. Still people stop me to ask what the decision was on The Rookery, despite all the coverage in the Evening Gazette and BBC Radio Cleveland. The really nice thing is the number of people who thanked me for what I said, when all I did was follow on what had been said by John Fletcher and Mr Douglas from CPRE.

Friday, November 19, 2004

More than 80 people came to tonight's meeting at Egglescliffe Primary School, organised by one of the local residents. John Fletcher and I were invited to take along the plans for the latest applications around the village and explain to people how the planning system works in Stockton Borough Council. There were lots of questions about the type of letter to write, and what the officers will take account of. The Parish Council were represented too, and their chairman was able to read out the objections which the council had agreed to put in at last night's meeting. John and I of course had to point out that we hadn't finally made up our minds and were listening to all comments.
At the end several people thanked us for explaining the system. A collection to cover the cost of renting the hall raised a little more than needed so just over £7 went to Children in Need - a good evening all round!

Thursday, November 18, 2004

Planning success!

OK - It's been far too long since I sat down and did this but I'm not even going to try to fill in the gaps. Suffice to say that yesterday the SBC planning committee accepted my proposal to refuse permission to demolish the Rookery and Sunnymount and replace them with a mix of houses and flats. Along with my fellow ward councillor and local residents I argued that the Rookery is sufficiently unusual in the region to warrant preservation, and that in a conservation area that is what we should be doing. After John had read out the relevant paragraphs from the previous appeal inspector's report and the new report from English Heritage the whole committee voted to retain the Rookery.
As I said in my proposal, the design of the proposal was an attractive design in the right place, but the highest point in that part of the conservation area was not the right place. We now wait to see whether an appeal is lodged.
Meanwhile residents from round the village green area have organised a public meeting to discuss the applications that have been put in for building of new houses round the edge of the village. John and I will go to display the plans and listen to what people have to say, as well as to answer any questions.