Agenda item

Public Participation

To consider questions (if any) by members of the public of which the appropriate notice has been given to the Assistant Director (Corporate and Contracted Services)


There was a question from a member of the public to Cllr Alan Anderson.


Steven Butler asked a question of Alan Anderson, the questions was as follows:

Stephen Butler: I thought it would be useful to share an example of the issue at hand which relates primarily to planning application 00958, which is a granted application for land in Tring for a residential area which designated 0.75 hectares for employment purposes, and planning application 2201962, which is pending, and relates to a supermarket development on that site. The land adjacent to this employment space is the Icknield Way Industrial Estate, which was referenced in the 15th July press release as-,

The Mayor interrupted and asked Mr Butler to read his original question

Stephen Butler: Will you ensure that land is used as per the local plans and prioritise enforcement action where developers seek to breach conditions of their planning permission in place to protect those local plans?

Cllr Anderson: Good evening, Mr Mayor, and good evening, Mr Butler. As this question relates to a planning application which is currently awaiting determination it would not be appropriate for me to comment on the specifics at this stage The council will have regard to any comments received in response to this application and, in addition to what it says here, I'd say that any member of the public can participate in the planning process as registering to speak to the development management committee, should it get to the development management committee, and there you will have your opportunity to have your say. On the wider point of protecting employment space in the borough, I would like to point out that the council has recently made an number of Article 4 directions which will provide continued protection from potential losses in the employment space, and if one goes back to Tring for a moment, I know that former Cllr Mike Hicks, it was an issue that was very close to his heart, because I remember him, when I was Chair of the Scrutiny Committee, I remember him mentioning it in relation to Tring on many, many occasions and I hope, next year, we will have the opportunity to continue that campaign. Thank you, Mr Mayor.

Mayor: Mr Butler do you have any supplementary questions.

Mr Butler required no further questions

Cllr Hollinghurst: Thank you, Mr Mayor. Could I ask for some guidance from the officers, please? I do not wish to refer to the matter raised by the member of the public, because that is a planning matter of course. However, the gentleman who was speaking had plenty of time in which to explain the reasons for his question and the background to it, and yet, Mr Mayor, you cut the gentleman short and asked him to proceed to his question forthwith. So, therefore, with your indulgence, I would like to ask if the officers can give some guidance as to whether it is proper to curtail a question in this manner when the person raising it has plenty of allocated time to go?

The Mayor: Cllr Hollinghurst, I realise that I'm a new Mayor, but I don't think this is the time and the place to re-jig the format in terms of questions from the public, but I'm happy to take the officer's advice.

Cllr Tindall: Clarification, I believe that Cllr Hollinghurst was referring to the amount of time that the questioner had and the fact that, during the course of the asking of that question, you curtailed his opportunity to explain what the question meant while he still had time within his allotted period. I think that was the thrust of Cllr Hollinghurst's question to the officers, and whether or not the member of public should have been entitled to actually explain what his question was about.

FHussain : We were given notice of the question in advance, so what the Mayor was asking was for the question to be read out, because this is the question that has been put to Cllr Anderson, so the response that has been prepared has been on the basis of the question that has been asked by the member of the public.

Cllr Tindall: Excuse me. Sorry to prolong the meeting, but the problem is there are a considerable number of councilors around this room that have no idea what the question was about, because the member of public was curtailed. If the member of public had been allowed to continue his explanation we would have all understood what the meaning of the question was.

Mayor: I'm sorry that you have difficulty in reading the question. It was actually circulated and it seems to me perfectly explanatory in itself as to what is going on. However, as Cllr Anderson says, we are not curtailing the questioners ability to approach the appropriate body, when if and when this issue comes before the planning committee that is Development Management, then he is entitled to address them. Thank you.