Front page of todays Gazette and the audacity of town and district councillors. How is it the same coucillors that did nothing to stop the over development of the Secmanton Lane area, by voting for and subsequently granting planning consent. Now want to blame a private utility company for not providing adequate infrastructure and multi - million pound investment into the failing sewerage system.
Well before any of the new developments were constructed the Councils were well aware of issues with the sewer system and wasent South West Water one of the main companies to advise against granting planning because of such issues.
Sorry councillors but you indirectly created the problem so now perhaps you need to use the extra monies gained from the new development to provide a solution to the issues yourselves
Town councillors then, as now, have no real clout as to what gets built and what does not.
District councillors on TDC's planning committee, as all councillors of whatever political hues on all planning committees, are massively restricted in terms of what planning permission they can approve and what planning permission they cannot approve because of national planning policies which then impact and dictate local planning policies.
So not necessarily local councillors at fault when necessary infrastructure is not in place before the houses get built. The link road from the Sainsbury's roundabout to top end Secmaton Lane being a case in point.
Back in May of this year the Housing and Planning Act 2016 received Royal Assent. The (then) Housing Minister, Brandon Lewis, made it very clear during parliamentary debates that the building of houses would take precedence over the building of the necessary infrastructure that the houses would need.
Sorry Lynne but Councillor Prowse has been on both DTC and TDC planning for many years and defines herself as expert at councillor level. She was directly instrumental in the increased housing in Secmaton Lane. So.........to now blame SWW and take no responsibility herself is unforgivable. Councillors have a responsibility, sadly the old guard just do not seem to get that!!
Sorry, I had forgotten all about the increase in housing numbers business that took place when Shutterton Park (Warren Grove) got given the go ahead at Appeal.
But.....my point about councillors having their hands tied by way of national planning policies still stands.
So lets get something straight. The government force the district and local councils to provide land for housing. A developer then buys the land applies for planning. Then due to policy the district council ignores any objections and infrastructure issues and grants planning so the building goes ahead. Well what happens if the privatised utility companies who dont forget have a duty of care to their existing customers and a mandate to keep their networks operational say that adding more properties would breach health and safety and compromise the network, then subsiquently refuse to connect the new developments. Surely the issue then falls back on the council to solve. I think councillor Prowse had better use her "expertise" to raise some funding to pay SWW to get the required upgrades built and in place, before we the tax payers end up with another large legal bill to pay
I believe there is funding for upgrading. Think TDC has it. I'll check some minutes and see what I can find.
Okay, so....... in June of this year a representative of SWW addressed the town council about the Secmaton Lane sewerage issue. I was in the public gallery listening to it all. I have just looked at the minutes of that meeting and there is no record of what he said only that he was there and that he addressed the town councillors before the meeting of the full council officially started.
I seem to remember something about money being handed over by the developers to TDC for them to pass on to SWW for upgrading works. Around about £150k I believe.
Anyhow, according the report in this week's Gazette it seems that TDC won't hand over the money to SWW until TDC know how SWW intend spending it.