We mentioned earlier that the District Council was discussing the Asda planning appeals in a private and confidential session on 27th June. Here are the public minutes of that meeting:
Extraordinary Council ? 27 June 2006
209 PLANNING APPEAL ? RETAIL FOOD STORE AND ASSOCIATED
DEVELOPMENT AT FORMER PARK SCHOOL, RAWRETH LANE, RAYLEIGH
Council considered the exempt report of the Head of Legal Services on the Appeal arrangements following the decision of the Development Control Committee at its meeting on 25 May 2006. Responding to questions, the Head of Legal Services advised that:-
– Only one Appeal relating to a decision in November 2005 had been lodged at present.
– The written representation procedure allowed any interested party to submit a view/opinio/evidence. The Planning Authority could submit evidence used to reach it’s decision. To go beyond would mean that Appellants would have to respond to new evidence, and the use of the written representation procedure would no longer be appropriate.
– In the event that the Appeal was to be heard at an inquiry, it is unlike ly that it would be before March/April 2007.
– In cases where an Appeal is successful, costs are only awarded where a local authority cannot substantiate its decision by credible evidence.
(1) That the pending appeal be dealt with by Written Representations , subject to the Planning Inspectorate accepting that they can be dealt with on this basis.
(2) That, in the event that the Appeals proceed by way of Inquiry, specialist Counsel and expert witnesses be engaged to give evidence in support of the Council?s decision and a contingency sum as specified in the exempt report be set aside to meet the cost of defending the action and any consequent liability arising from a cost award, to be funded from balances in the first instance and taken into account as part of a
Budget Strategy for 2007/08.