Weston residents may call in Ombudsman over Stoneleigh application

PUBLISHED: 11:29 11 January 2009 | UPDATED: 12:12 17 June 2010

RESIDENTS from Weston are considering calling in the Ombudsman to investigate the district council s handling of a planning application relating to Stoneleigh Holiday Village.

RESIDENTS from Weston are considering calling in the Ombudsman to investigate the district council's handling of a planning application relating to Stoneleigh Holiday Village.

They claim a planning officer's report for next Tuesday's development control committee, was written before all objections to an application to build 17 residential units and upgrade bar and pool facilities were received.

"Twelve letters of objection have gone on the site since the report was written," said David Hedges, who lives close to the site.

On Wednesday he received three copies of an email from EDDC over amendments to the application, by M2 Services Ltd., run by Nick Spysznyk, which allows comments to be made by January 21, eight days after Tuesday's meeting.

Calvin Lusty, whose home borders the area allocated for car parking at the holiday village, said: "Any comments regarding this will not be taken into consideration."

However, an EDDC spokeswoman told the Sidmouth Herald yesterday that officers would recommend that the formal decision is delegated "either to the chair of the committee or head of planning" to be taken after the deadline for comments.

This would be dependent on members of the development control committee agreeing with the planning officer's recommendation that permission is given, subject to conditions.

"Only if new issues are raised will the matter need to come back to the committee," said the spokeswoman, who also confirmed a contentious second entrance to the site was not now in the proposal.

Mr Lusty said: "We are preparing a report for the Ombudsman to investigate the whole planning issue."

Mr Hedges said planning officers had not answered questions he had put and some objections had not appeared on the website.

EDDC responded, saying: "We have included all letters of objection on the planning portal, except where we have been expressly asked not to.

"However, we have not published correspondence regarding procedural matters or questions and complaints about process.

"We regret that, at times, the planning website has not been available and we are of course trying to address this."

She said the National Trust had erroneously been included on a list of consultees "but, as soon as we discovered our mistake, their name was removed."

Its representations have been webbed alongside resident's objections.

Branscombe Parish Council re-affirmed its objections to the application and its amendments when it met on Wednesday.

Ward member Councillor Mike Green said: "The site in general would benefit from an upgrade and uplift, but this must not be done at the expense of the AONB, the countryside, or neighbours.


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