mercredi 21 septembre 2016

CoS Can’t Wait For Planning Application at St Hill

In the UK, you can’t just build what you like - there are rules.

These rules dictate that, if you wish to build a building, make major alterations to existing ones or carry out certain other building works, you have to apply for what is known as ‘planning permission’ from the local authority (Council).

In the East Grinstead area, the planning authority is Mid Sussex District Council. So, if for example, you were a cul- er, ‘New Religious Movement’, with a large estate in the East Grinstead area and wanted to make ‘improvements’ to that estate, you would have to apply for permission to do so and then go through a process before you were allowed to make those improvements. Part of that process involves allowing local residents and other people of interest to pass comment on the proposal.

Well, on the 22nd of August 2016, the ironically-named ‘Church’ of Scientology made an application to construct, “Provision of coach drop-off area, 6 contractor parking bays, minor alteration to access onto West Hoathly Road and associated landscaping.”

The full application can be viewed from this link:

and enter ‘DM/16/3611’ (or enter ‘RH19 4JY’ for all recent applications at this address)

A copy of the planning notice (which is displayed at the site) can be seen here:

As you can see, comments are invited, by the 30th of September 2016.

But, when I went past the proposed site on the 10th of Sept (20 days before the end of the period for comments), I found that work had already started! Yep, that’s right – they make the application, and before anyone has had a chance to object, and well before the end of the consultation period, start the work anyway.

In fact, it appears almost finished. I am guessing that Miscavige wanted all landscaping and similar work to the St Hill estate to be finished by the date of the IAS shindig on the 7th of October 2016 and ordered work to start right away without wait for approval from those pesky council people.

Now, it isn’t unheard of for building work to commence before the planning process is complete, but this is for fairly standard works and where the planning officer has given an informal ‘nod’. Even so, this is somewhat risky because if planning consent is withheld, then the site would have to be returned to its original condition and any buildings dismantled at the applicants cost.

This situation is different because, although there isn’t a building as such involved, it does involve changes to the layout of the entrance and since provision is to be made for coaches, that would mean that large vehicles would now be arriving and exiting onto a narrow stretch of road with limited visibility. The width of the road is such that any coach arriving would probably have to swing out onto the other side of the road to get down the entrance road and certainly when exiting, any coach would have to swing over onto the wrong side of the road. Given the width of the road at this point, it would then be impossible for any car-sized and above vehicles to pass. I have included some photos to show the extent of the problem.

View to the right from the entrance:

View to the left:

Bear in mind that on this road, there is no special speed limit, so traffic could be travelling at up to 60mph. Imagine rounding a bend at say, 50mph and then finding a coach lumbering out of the slip road, half on your side of the road? Simply not safe.

Looking at the documents that accompany the application, I can see a recommendation from a meeting of The East Grinstead Society (held on the 6th of Sept – I wonder if they knew that even while they were debating the plans, work had already started?). The conclusion was, “Recommend refusal. It is difficult to think of a more inappropriate spot than this for coaches to manoeuvre in a narrow road with busy and fast moving traffic.”

I agree.

I have reported this to the planning control department of the council, but unfortunately their hands are tied, apparently.

From the response, “Thanks for your email. Whilst I note your frustration, whilst a planning application is pending the Council (in line with national legislation and guidance) cannot enter into enforcement action to remedy the breach. The only action could potentially be via a Temporary Stop Notice, however, this could only be justified if there is immediate and explicit harm being caused to warrant the issue of such a Notice. I have consulted with the case officer dealing with the application and as there is no immediate highway safety concerns, the issue of such a Notice cannot be justified at this time.”

I bet I know what will happen. The cult starts using this turning area well before the planning consultation period finishes, so that if the council tries to refuse planning permission, the cult say, “We have been using this for weeks now without a problem. If you refuse permission, we will appeal.” And then put endless money into mounting appeal after appeal. So eventually, the council will cave in and allow the development to stay.

And the cult will have ridden roughshod over the law yet again. :angry:

CoS Can’t Wait For Planning Application at St Hill

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