Last Thursday night we saw another example of how allowing the public to speak at planning meetings can have a big impact.
This time it involved an application at 133 Eastwood Road Rayleigh- an application to demolish the existing dwelling and build a pair of 4 bedroomed houses instead. (If you go past you will see that it’s already been demolished, which was allowed under a previous permission).
One of the ward members, Tony Humphries, declared an interest and didn’t speak on the matter. The other ward member, Pat Aves was absent. Numerous other ‘senior’ Rayleigh councillors were absent too. The applicant was local builder Pannell Developments.
So it was really left to one of the neighbours to make a case for refusal. One of them , a Mr Brown , used the new right of public speaking to argue the case for refusal. And he did it so persuasively and marshalled his facts so well that he won the committee over and the application was refused.
We couldn’t help thinking that this chap could speak better in the council chamber than about half the councillors – and this was his first attempt.