27 May 2008

We’ve a little bit of a follow up on the ‘‘when is a document supposed to go a planning file and when is it confidential?’ thing we talked about the other day.

In County Clare, an application for a small non-controversial development in the west of the county was so not controversial that owners of neighbouring properties sent letters to the Council expressing their support for it – hoping, I presume, that the little project would go ahead and fill up a nasty hole in the street. However, the letters in question never made it to onto the planning file. When questioned about this, some Council person thought the letters were ‘confidential’.

Confidential? Well, I never underestimate a Council official’s ability to see the grey of confidentiality where the rest of us see daylight. But, on balance, I think the Council person was probably more likely to have been playing at silly buggers. My guess is that the Council person was thinking, were the Council to kick to touch on the application and seek more time/information, etc., it would be harder to get away with if there were letters supporting the project on the file. That’s my take. Maybe I’m being a bit harsh…

Tons going on in Clare by the way - far and away the most dysfunctional planning county in the land. I'll bring you up to speed in the coming days when I get a bit of time.

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