The extraordinary council meeting tonight turned into a really extraordinary one.
It began at 9.10 pm after the Development Committee finished. Chris Black got in an early question – the agenda only said we were discussing a private and confidential report on a forthcoming planning appeal, could it at least be made public which appeal it was? So we can now tell you that the appeal was indeed for “North of London Road”
A vote was then taken to take the meeting into private, despite some members wanting to have at least some discussion in public first. Lib Dems, Greens, Residents and UKIP all voted against going into private, but we lost the vote.
There were about 30 members of the public watching the meeting, they were understandably unhappy at what was happening and simply refused to leave. So the meeting was adjourned for 20 minutes and nearly all of the Tories went upstairs for a coffee. Maybe they expected the public to leave, but they didn’t, instead they stayed there chatting amongst themselves , and with the various Lib Dem , Green, Residents and UKIP councillors. 20 minutes turned into 30 minutes, into an hour and the public were still all there.. Eventually they left and the meeting resumed at 10:50 pm.
What happened then we can’t say – but a decision will be published by the council soon.
Admin – can I say thanks to yourself and all the other ‘opposition’ parties for doing the right thing and voting against the exclusion of the Press / Public and our MP , obviously the Tory Whip ensured it got through – but now the responsibility rests firmly with them.
I also have to say that I am surprised by the amount of influence that ( non elected ) Council Officers have on Council matters –
The Officers came up with this scheme and chose the sites, they recommended acceptance of the Countryside OPP and last night were
the only ones to return to the Chamber with the purpose of getting the Public to leave – so they could ( no doubt ) spin the options to be
voted on in favour of “their” own scheme.
And with the Chancellor imposing a further 40% of cuts at home whilst the Prime Minister giving away another £12 Billion in overseas aid – I am now seriously doubting wether we do live in a Democracy in the so called 21st century.
This surely reveals the utter contempt RDC has for the opinions of its residents. It seems that comment by the public on planning applications should be encouraged, then completely ignored.
It makes a mockery of the concept of “localism”.
I take it it was the same Tory councillors that rejected the application before the election, now look set to accept the application. Could this be because the election is over and they now have cloth on their backs for the next 5 years?
The reason this application will be accepted is that RDC cannot reject it. Stupidly, RDC announced the North of London Road site as the only site suitable for development in its core strategy, so the developer knows it has to be onto a winner. Why should the developer ever contribute to the cost of infrastructure? No need.
This development will be allowed despite, being previously rejected, the lack of provision of infrastructure. It is enabled by a bad plan, which will ruin Rayleigh forever.
Local residents will live with the consequences of allowing this development long after our planning team and Tory reps have moved on. We will even get to pay for the required infrastructure, bit by bit, under the radar.