Petition signatures gained with ‘aggressive’ tactics

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AGGRESSIVE tactics were used to get signatures on a Shoreham Beach petition, councillors were told.

Adur District Council’s planning committee heard on Monday from Mark Trott, of Old Fort Road, Shoreham, who was seeking permission for a first-floor extension.

“The petition has been described to us by local residents as aggressive, intimidating and based on deceit,” he said. “Several people have apologised in person to us for signing it without understanding.”

Next-door neighbour David West was one of eight to write letters of objection.

He said: “Several of our other close neighbours quickly objected. These neighbours then raised a petition and in a short number of days, 100 people had signed.”

But councillors heard some of those signatures had since been withdrawn and the petition received had only 63 signatures.

Permission was granted in 2001 for a gabled roof extension but that lapsed in 2006. The committee agreed the new plans, which had only ‘marginal’ differences, were better than the detached bungalow being replaced with a much larger property.

Gary Peck, planning services manager, said some errors in the block plan had to be addressed. Approval was delegated, subject to a satisfactory new block plan.