RECENT DEVELOPMENT SUMMARY:
The developer at Twissells Mill was going about his business undertaking preparations to re-build an old Mill that was destroyed by fire in the 1930s. He had obtained planning permission to rebuild the Mill with the full backing of the planning committee and the Tourist Board.
The council's District Planning Officer (Ian Kay) had it in for the developer, and decided to concoct a reason to delay development of the site. In doing so the DPO knew the developer was incurring costs, by way of bank interest. He and another (Julian Black) also knew the developer's customers and various grant applications, would be lost, if they held him up.
On the occasion of a planning application to address viability issues, the DPO planted seeds of doubt in the minds of the planning committee, as to the legality of a Mobile Home in use on the site. He did this firstly, to try and defeat the Mill Restoration planning application. The DPO also hoped members would bite on the bait he'd provided, when he told the committee that Mobile Homes had wheels. This is of course not true as the DPO knew full well. Naughty old DPO.
On appeal to the Secretary of State, the Inspector agreed with the developer, that the beautiful wooden building was indeed a Mobile Home as described in the Caravans Acts, but not before the planning officers had succeeded in costing the developer an arm and a leg in bank charges. Is this kind of behaviour by professional RTPI members really necessary? We say not. We say that staff who routinely cost councils and developers money, that should go toward historic restorations, should be made to repay wasted costs (and bank charges) to the developer personally.
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