Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Another sad decision

A couple of planning committee meetings ago we heard an application to demolish The Rookery on the basis that the foundations were substandard. The planning committee asked why underpinning or some other means of strengthening the foundations wasn't being considered and asked for evidence that it wasn't possible to save the building before making a decision. I thought it was quite obvious that if the proof were to be provided the committee had no option but to grant permission whereas if the building is capable of being saved there's no need for demolition. Rather than provide the proof the applicant appealed against the fact that the council hadn't made a decision. As a result, today's committee meeting had to determine what it would have decided on the evidence available. Not that it makes any difference to the decision except that the inspector might take it into account when making his decision. I couldn't be there because I needed to be at the hospital with my mother. My colleague, Cllr Julia Cherrett, substituted for me and after much debate the decision was made in favour of allowing demolition by the casting vote of the chairman.
So another landmark is likely to bite the dust unless the appeal inspector makes a very exceptional decision. Sadly, I fear that the new build won't take place but that demolition will be followed by another application for something cheaper to build and therefore probably not in character with the area. However, maybe I'm being too much of a pessimist.

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