An April Fool's Planning Objection
April Fool's Day seemed an appropriate day to submit objections to the ODA's Olympic and Paralympic Planning Application. It claims to be a Legacy application as well but I can't include this is in my title as the Application doesn't include a detailed Legacy plan. It is plain approval of the Application is predetermined. To approach the application in any other way is to be a flat earther, as I have already been described by a planning expert. Authorities long for people to censor themselves and limit themselves to treating power on its own terms. Be realistic! is the watchword. I'd prefer the earth to be flat.
I object because the ODA Planning Panel includes two members of the ODA Board which is delivering the Olympics; 4 local authority members from planning committees which have already granted permission on a previous occasion; and 5 ‘independent’ members including a former Chair of Hackney Planning committee, a committee which has already granted approval to the previous application, local authority chief executives and people previously or at present involved with major redevelopment schemes.
Vivienne Ramsey, head of the ODA planning decisions team, said at St John’s Stratford on Thursday 8th March ‘Be realistic, the Olympics is going to happen’. Ms Ramsey is meant to consider the application impartially and that includes the possible rejection of the proposal as a whole. (see attached document 1)
She and the ODA planning panel are meant to be separated from the delivery section of the ODA by a glass wall and to examine all aspects of the application including its acceptability as a whole.
During the meeting Ms Ramsey was speaking alongside those representing the ODA delivery team and was acting as an advocate for the proposal.
She has plainly already decided, before receiving objections, that she will recommend acceptance of the application as a whole.
The implication of her statement, ‘be realistic’ is that ‘unrealistic’ objections will not be considered or commented on apart from an immediate recommendation of dismissal. This represents a failure to properly represent the interests of all sections of the community and objectors and is a breach of her legal obligations.
Her statement will also lead members of the public to believe they do not have a right to object to the project as a whole or that they should not do so as such objections will fail.
I draw this conclusion myself.
It is also plain from her statement that the panel will accept this application as a whole regardless of the objections received.
This ‘glass wall’ is plainly a fiction in every sense of the word
The previous planning application and the compulsory purchase order included demonstrably false statements regarding the amount of housing to be provided under the Legacy yet the Boroughs and the Inspector failed to query them, a fact which casts doubt on the capacity or willingness of the planning authorities to properly scrutinise this application. It also included acknowledged breaches of open space policy, as for example at Eastway, yet again the planning authorities were prepared to approve that application and overturn planning guidance.
As stated above five members of the ODA panel are drawn from those local authorities.
The planning approval granted in 2004 was in turn referred to by the CPO Inquiry Inspector. Ms Ramsey then referred to the granting of the CPO at the meeting in Stratford. However, the first permission is no longer relied on so should not be taken as guidance for this application and should not have been relied on by the Inspector for the same reason. Both the approving authorities and the inspector wrongly accepted false statements yet both the authorities and the inspector are now referred to in support of this application!
The original planning application was confirmed by the Mayor of London and the Deputy Prime Minister, both of whom had openly supported the application. The Compulsory Purchase Order was, of course, confirmed by a Minister in the Government which was promoting the project. Yet it is referred to as if it was confirmed by an independent authority.
Approval of the previous planning application and the CPO was plainly predetermined.
The ODA is not accountable in any democratic way to the local community or wider London community. It was created to deliver a programme supported by national, city and local governments.
In light of the above there is no way this planning process can be considered to be open, transparent or fair. It will not result in any proper scrutiny of these proposals and objectors can have little confidence that their fundamental objections will be properly considered or taken into account. The outcome is pre-determined.
(taken from attached 'Objections to planning application', see section 17)
See also: London Thames Gateway Forum
|Objections to planning application.doc||841 KB|
Submitted by Julian Cheyne on Sat, 12/05/2007 - 02:50.