CALL me old-fashioned, but I thought the purpose of having ward councillors on the planning committee was for them to make local planning decisions.
Clearly, though, as the recent decision shows, not when it involves Tesco.
As I sat through that planning meeting, the frustration of those councillors in not being able to reject the Tesco plan – in case Tesco appealed and the council tax payer was faced with a £70,000 bill – was plain to see, and hear.
Honestly, who would want to be a councillor when they raise serious concerns over pedestrian and cyclist safety, the nuisance of out-of-hours deliveries, environmental health and townscape issues, noise, traffic congestion and the impact on the viability of local shops and, hence, jobs?
Not to mention the 1,700-plus-signature petition collected in two weeks, only to be told by council officers that these were not valid planning reasons for refusing the application.
I’m sure anyone from Egypt, etc., who happened to be at that meeting would be wondering when Britain is to become a democracy.