The planning committee’s decision seemed to upset the chair

Thursday, 2nd August 2018

• CONGRATULATIONS to the councillors who successfully blocked Essential Living’s heavy-handed, unworkable, Construction Management Plan.

I followed the meeting of the planning committee and was particularly struck by the attitude of the chair Cllr Heather Johnson, who seemed to be running a difficult, sometimes noisy, meeting quite well until, despite hearing lengthy and detailed arguments in favour of the plan from Essential Living and also, very strongly, from the planning officers, the committee voted against approving it.

At that point Cllr Johnson seemed noticeably disquieted and upset. When she moved on to formalise the committee’s decision to look again at the CMP she seemed systematically to misinterpret what the committee was asking for. One or two of the councillors had to clarify it for her.

Perhaps she had expected a different outcome but if so she should have kept her feelings to herself. We need our committee chairs to be absolutely impartial, no matter what the committee decides.


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