Saturday, February 16, 2008

Take a letter ...

Finally (for the moment) a letter to me about the last state of play in the game of development musical chairs. Incidentally, a letter from me to the developers architects was NEVER acknowledged. (NB Italics used in this copy are my emphasis.)

(NCC official's details deleted.)

6 September 2002

(Contact information deleted.)

Dear –


Thank you for your letter commenting on the Draft Brief for land at Portland Road.

The final version of the Brief was reported to the 9th August 2002 Development Control Committee where it was approved.(2) Your comments, along with all the comments received as a result of the consultation process, were reported to the Committee prior to a decision being made. Technical amendments requested by the Environment Agency and Cycling Touring Club have been included in the Brief.

The main revision to the final approval brief relates to the proposal in the draft version identifying the possibility of the development encroaching onto the City Stadium open space to generate investment.(3) However it was noted from the consultation responses that there were clear objections to this idea. Instead it has been agreed that a Management Plan be prepared and implemented for the City Stadium including identifying alternative sources of funding to bring this area of open space up to a level that will meet the aspirations of the community.(4) Accordingly the idea of allowing some limited development of the open space has been removed from the Brief.

I hope the above is of assistance. Should you require any further information please contact me on (deleted).

Yours sincerely

(Name and signature)
Planning Officer

1. As previously pointed out the Council refer throughout to the site as 'Portland Road'. This should be seen as being the closest major road rather than an exact location.

2. That is, despite objections to the fundamental ideas behind the Plan aka 'Draft' (that public open space could be built over by private developers for private gain) it was approved largely unaltered. This should be seen in the light of the constant refrain that 'consultation' is always being sought; they listen then ignore you.

3. Open space is only public when it cannot turn a penny. As soon as the chance comes along it can be cashed in for short term profit. (Please do not bore me with the old 'we need the jobs' arguments. I have seen a lot of this version of 'job creation' in my time and it simply never happens or quickly drops away.)

4. This is pious tripe. I have been involved with or on the edge of several 'consultations' and they were a sham. It may be hoped that one day the term will revert to its original and honoured meaning. Meanwhile be on your guard.

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