23 March 2011

Land & Property, Tuesday 22nd March 2011

The Certificate of Lawfulness application for Badger's Cross was discussed at this evening's committee meeting and it certainly gave the L&P Committee something serious to chew on. The Certificate of Lawfulness application is the latest effort by current District Councillor A H Canvin to unlock the development of his 11 acre site at Badger's Cross. 'Certificates of Lawfulness', whilst legitimate in planning terms, seek to legitimise the use of land (or property) on the basis of some historic use, in this case a use claimed to have been implemented at Badger's Cross in the mid-1960s.
The deliberation of the L&P Committee was preceded by a very informative presentation about the current application and made by a member of the Badgers Cross community, Terry Bastyan. Terry's presentation, complete with Powerpoint illustrations, showed the various maneuvers that District Cllr Canvin has tried in order to obtain a B2 designation on the site. None of District Councillor Canvin's applications share anything but the general location and the boundaries of the various applications move with the wind.
After the presentation, the committee discussed the narrow scope of the application itself and what became very clear was that the committee was being asked to express a view upon a position defined by the applicant themselves and where the test of the accuracy of the applicants claims can only really be undertaken by the District Council. As a consequence the L&P Committee decided not to comment and to place the onus on testing the veracity of the application upon the Planning Authority. At the same time the L&P Committee made very clear their concerns about the manner in which the applicant modified or changed the boundaries of the area which they claimed enjoyed B2 use. The L&P Committee therefore requested that, apart from testing the veracity of the claim, the District Council should seek a definitive boundary from the applicant and tie that to any decision that the District Council might be minded to make.
A sensible and thoughtful outcome in my own view and one that serves all parties well. It with now be up to the District Council and its Planning Department to do a thorough job in order to ensure that the claims made in the applicants documentation are based in fact and not within the applicant's fantasy.
And as a coda to the meeting the Committee discussed the fact that the disabled lift at the Tin Dunny ( cost - £40,000 ) is disabled. The Clerk read out a catalogue of failures and it would seem that the Council feels, with some justification, that the lift was not correctly installed. However the installers believe that everything is fine and, as a result, have instructed debt collectors. The Council is preparing to defend its position. Watch this space.
Till next time, I’m still Niall Connolly