14 May 2008

A while back, Clare County Council made the mistake of letting time run out on a planning application with the result that a medium sized residential development got approval by default. Red faced, the planning authority – who wanted some changes made to the scheme, but didn’t manage to communicate these changes officially - went back to the applicants and asked that they reapply for permission for a revised scheme.

Allegedly because they had received assurances of approval if they went this route, the applicants spared the council’s blushes and sent in another application showing the revisions that the Council were eager to see. Which was duly approved. However, when Councillors got wind of the situation and sought clarification from officials, they hit a wall. They were told by senior council employees that the details of any deal between Council and applicant, if indeed there was any such deal, would remain confidential (on a planning application?!).

Anyway, some Councillors wouldn’t let the situation go. Now, I’m given to understand, officials are prepared to divulge the details of the deal to the Councillors provided the Councillors don’t tell anyone else. I'm sure the various Councillors can be relied upon to do their duty to the public and pass on to us all relevant information they recieve.

There's another aspect to this situation - it's another of these planning applications (of which there are worryingly several) where items included on the planning file were either allegedly removed or in some other way altered, eg allegedly dates.  

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