Complaint against council follows planning decision

David and Lisa West outside their property with the petition D14381029a
David and Lisa West outside their property with the petition D14381029a

A PLANNING decision neighbours regard as ‘a travesty’ has led to a complaint to Adur District Council.

People who signed a petition on Shoreham Beach were furious to learn their objections to an extension at 140 Old Fort Road were ignored.

David West, who lives next door to the property, was particularly angry to hear the petition described as ‘aggressive, intimidating and based on deceit’ at the planning committee meeting on September 1.

He has now written a letter of complaint to chief executive Alex Bailey about the way the decision was made.

“We would like to complain in the strongest terms about our treatment by Adur District Council planning committee after we objected to the planning application at 140 Old Fort Road at the planning committee meeting on the evening of Monday, September 1,” said Mr West in the letter.

“This relates to the lack of respect given to the objectors and the favourable treatment given to the applicants in respect to the technical merits of the planning office refusal of the application, and the petition raised by the community in opposition to the application.”

He said afterwards the motion to accept the extension was ‘a travesty’.

“Specifically, this planning application sets a precedent on Shoreham Beach,” he added, explaining there was no other extension of its kind so close to a neighbour’s boundary.

Mr West has also asked Mr Bailey to look into the fact signatures on the petition were missed.

“The planning officer saying there were 63 signatures and me saying there were 100 was taken by councillors to evidence of misconduct, rather than the error of planning office,” he said, explaining they were sent in two emails but only one lot was counted.

He has asked for a public statement refuting the ‘aggressive, intimidating and based on deceit’ claims.

“The petition was raised politely by two female neighbours,” said Mr West.

“Lots of people are furious that their objections were ignored.”

Mr Bailey told Mr West he had read the letter of complaint carefully.

Jane Eckford, the director responsible for development control, has been asked to look into it ‘as a matter of urgency’ and said she will report back to Mr West following her investigation.