LETTERS From Cllr Roger Mazillius, Cowes:
I HAVE a high regard for Ms J. Pearce (CP, Letters 08-02-13) but must disagree with her concerns the applicant for the asphalt plant at Medina Wharf, Cowes, has, by publicly stating they are working with the IW Council’s planning department to secure permission for the plant, somehow sought to over-ride the role of the planning committee’s ability to determine the application and officers to provide unbiased advice.
My understanding is any applicant can work with our planners to assist in the decision-making process.
For example, a homeowner making an application for an extension can, free of charge, meet with officers to help with the proper formulation of their application.
This is accepted as good practice across planning authorities in general and can assist both the applicant and the planning authority to more efficiently determine an application.
It usually suits both parties because the applicant may be prevented from filing a faulty application while a more technically correct application can then be more expeditiously determined. It follows, therefore, that where a complex application is made, it is even more important the applicant and the planning authority meet to discuss common ground and where there are differences of opinion but particularly where the planners require a deal of additional information and, indeed, technical evidence to assist in the proper determination of the application. Again, this is common practice in local government.
So, where an applicant states they are working with planners to secure permission, from their standpoint this is a perfectly normal comment to make. They would not presumably be expected to say, we are working against the planning department to secure permission.
May I take this opportunity to thank the large numbers of residents who have filed so many comments of concern about the application, raising issues which will need to be fully addressed in the report to committee.
The level of technical research and the detailed way these concerns have been expressed should leave residents in no doubt whatsoever this contentious application must only be determined after the fullest public consideration has been given to those concerns.
I have no doubt this consideration will be given.