Home > Just and fair to all? > Delays to Arun District LDF/Local Plan

Delays to Arun District LDF/Local Plan


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I have often wondered if delays to the Local Plan are in any way responsible for what sometimes seems like a tsunami of planning applications across the district.

Here’s an interesting Freedom of Information request that can be read in full on http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/delays_to_arun_district_ldflocal#outgoing-261073

The letter from the Shadow Secretary of State for Communities & Local Government referred to in the FOI request can be read here: Appendix 11 – Caroline Spelman letter – August 2009

10th February 2013

Dear Arun District Council,

I am concerned that some, or all, Conservative members of the council may have felt “encouraged” to delay the council’s LDF/Local Plan for party political reasons, by a letter in August 2009 from Caroline Spelman MP (then Shadow Secretary of State for Communities & Local Government).

I have already provided the council with a copy of the Shadow Secretary of State’s letter as part of my submission to the recent draft Local Plan public consultation.

I would like to clarify whether officers have, at any time since August 2009, received any direction from either the Cabinet Member for Planning or the Leader of the Council to delay the LDF/Local Plan.

I would therefore like to request copies of all communications relating to the timing of the LDF/Local Plan, since July 2009 (to predate the Shadow Secretary of State’s letter), between either the Cabinet Member for Planning, the Leader of the Council, the Chief
Executive and planning officers.

Yours faithfully,

Tony Dixon

14th March 2013

Dear Arun District Council,

I have submitted the following public questions for the Full Council meeting on 20th March 2013.

1. Question to the Cabinet Member for Planning

Have you at any time indicated to fellow councillors or officers of the council that delay or slowing down of the LDF/Local Plan process would be desirable?

2. Question to the Leader of the Council

Have you at any time indicated to fellow councillors or officers of the council that delay or slowing down of the LDF/Local Plan process would be desirable?

By law, I am entitled to a response to this FOI request before that meeting.

Will that happen?

Yours faithfully,

Tony Dixon

15th March 2013

Dear Mr Dixon

I write further to your information request of 10 February 2013 and would ask you to please accept my apologies for the delay in this response.

Please be advised that, following consultation with the relevant departments and Members involved with the Local Development Framework, I understand that the Council does not hold any communications of the type you describe. The information is not therefore held by this authority and cannot be disclosed.

That said, in an effort to assist you, I have been informed that all delays to the Local Development Plan have been presented to Councillors by staff and endorsed by Full Council. I have also been directed to the minutes of the LDF Sub-Committee held on 8 December 2009 (paras 36 and 37) which considered the issues surrounding the delay with the Core Strategy. No doubt you are already familiar with the contents but I have attached a link to the relevant minutes for your ease of reference.

http://www.arun.gov.uk/mediaFiles/downlo…

If you are dissatisfied with the way your request for informationhas been handled, you can write, within the next 10 working days,to the FOI Officer at: Arun District Council, Arun Civic Centre, Maltravers Road, Littlehampton, West Sussex, BN17 5LF (email [email address]).

Please remember to quote the reference number above in any future communications.

If, having exhausted our review procedure, you remain dissatisfied with the handling of your request or complaint, you will have a right to appeal to the Information Commissioner at: The Information Commissioner’s Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 5AF (telephone: 0303 123 1113; website www.ico.gov.uk). There is no charge for making an appeal.

Yours sincerely


XXX
Junior Solicitor

15th March 2013

Dear Arun District Council,

May I please request clarification on your response.

Are you saying that, even though the Arun Local Plan has been seriously delayed, that there have been no communications between senior councillors and officers of the council relating to the timing of the LDF/Local Plan, since July 2009?

Yours faithfully,

Tony Dixon

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  1. Robin
    March 17, 2013 at 7:01 am

    It’s also interesting to note that their latest response was penned by a ‘junior solicitor’. Having to tread carefully are we ADC?

  2. Robin
    March 17, 2013 at 6:56 am

    It’s difficult to imagine that zero (0) correspondence has been written over this issue. Call me a cynic if you like, but have the paper shredders been working overtime recently down at ADC?

  3. Flid
    March 16, 2013 at 11:06 am

    Nice one Tony

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