Hullbridge Road Housing

Chris writes: You may have seen an article in the local paper about the scheme for some new, pretty large, houses, in Hullbridge Road .The newspaper report said the scheme was “passed unanimously”. This isn’t exactly true…

The council officers were recommending that the scheme be approved without it even coming to the planning committee. It was difficult for us to get involved with this application because Bruce Smart lives next to the site. I felt I had a prejudicial friendship with Bruce and his family and would have to declare this interest. However I felt that the application should be considered by the whole planning committee rather than simply be decided by officers – so I “referred it upwards” to the committee.

Having declared an interest, I did not get involved in the debate in the council chamber. (or vote on it) Other councillors looked at the plans and asked some questions. They couldn’t see any planning grounds for refusing the application, so it was passed on a show of hands. But in fact most councillors abstained.