|SAY 'NO' to Jerwood on the Stade|
9th December 2009 - Hastings Borough Council grants planning permission.
In order to reach an unbiased result SOS requested that the application be heard by a councillors who had not not sat on the original board (you wouldn't want the same jury if a case was being re-heard in court would you, and planning boards are quasi-judicial) Unsurprisingly consent was granted, Cllr Daniel even trotted out the same inane remark "you wouldn't demolish an art gallery to build a car park would you" - time will tell.
The decision to re-use what was pretty much the original planning board is in direct contravention of Hastings Borough Council's own planning protocol where it states;-
“17. Members shall not participate in the consideration of a planning application if to do so would give the appearance of bias. The test for bias is: “Would the fair-minded observer, knowing the background, consider that there was a real possibility of bias?” It is not the Member’s view of whether they are biased that is relevant here but the view of the independent observer. Perception is important and can lead to judicial challenge in the High Court.”
paragraphs 15, 16 and 23 are also relevant
14th July 2009 - Planning application quashed because HBC's planning board hadn't considered all the objections - click here for the judgement
Wednesday May 20th 2009 Hastings Borough Council's Planning Committee voted unanimously in favour of the Jerwood application and associated works. Interestingly the SOS committee and its supporters were initially banished to a downstairs committee room whilst the pro-lobby were comfortably seated upstairs and were allowed priority entry to the chamber. Only when it became clear that there was sufficient room for us we were allowed to join the main meeting.
As for the planning meeting, what became very clear is that those members that spoke most had obviously researched least; Councillor Joy Waite was "won over by the strength of public support" referring to 356 letters in favour compared to 44 against and ignored the 487 signatures on the three petitions. Cllr Waite also ignored the existence of over 300 members of "Save Our Stade" who joined because the Stade is the wrong place for this development. A site visit should have demonstrated the strength of feeling against the proposal with Jerwood - 'JERWOOD NO' posters being displayed by the majority of the fishermen. As for the letters of support seen on the HBC planning web site, including the comment forms completed during the three exhibitions, very few would qualify as being support on planning grounds. As objectors, we had to stick strictly to planning issues, as habitually pointed out by Cllr. Daniel, and hence our use of petitions on what we believe to have been perfectly valid planning issues. Were we to have objected simply on the basis that we did not like the proposals then such views would be dismissed as not being relevant. As regards the comment forms gathered at the exhibitions, what councillors were not told, and we had no opportunity to explain, was that the forms were not readily available and only if you were vocally in support of the proposal did HBC and Jerwood representatives direct you to them. Those who made their objections known were not. Certainly on the Saturday exhibition at the Fishermen's Museum, when we asked people who were signing our petition on their way out - we were out in the street of course - if they had completed a comment form they all said 'what comment form?' Such was the crush to get back in and to where the forms were semi hidden, most did not bother, thinking that signing the petition was sufficient.
Councillor Barlow was delighted that the gallery "would bring people down to Hastings all year round" - how does he know that? if he had read the "Unanswered Questions" on this site he would have noted question 12. "Please supply details of when the art collection can be viewed (opening hours, how many days a week and how many weeks of the year ) throughout the year and sanctions available to Hastings Borough Council if these hours are not adhered to." and the official answer from HBC "I do not have this information" . An email with "Questions about the proposed Jerwood Gallery" was sent to Hastings' Chief Executive and copied to each elected member of the council, Councillor Paul Barlow didn't even bother to open his!
Cllr Daniel, carried away with the exuberance of his own verbosity, wants to brush away 1000 years of history, that which attracts visitors from all over the world, "If Hastings has a future then it perhaps needs to stop looking back to the past and 1066 and start looking forward. This can help us become a cultural centre and attract visitors all year round. If things were the other way round and we were discussing knocking down a modern art gallery to build a coach park we would have a riot on our hands. " - yeah, right, that's a planning consideration! and of course he too missed the fact that there is no guarantee that the gallery would be open all year.
|You can judge the level of 'support' for yourselves. We have extracted all the correspondence (in pdf format) from HBC's planning web site , application number HS/FA/09/00087 - please check that we haven't left anything out. Those in favour, those against and those making general observations. These are large files and will take some time to download but they remove the necessity of downloading each piece of correspondance individually. The impartiallity of the submissions has to be questioned - the majority of the 'support' results from the 'consultation' exhibitions - no surprises then that the exhibition in the Hastings Arts Forum resulted in comments in support of the application. To object, valid planning reasons have to be given, to support it "I like it" seems good enough. There are duplications, including those that signed all three of our petitions because each petition was raised on different, separate planning grounds.|
This was the Planning Board 20th May 2009 - did they represent your views? were you asked for your views?
|P. Armstrong - Lib Dem
P. Barlow - Labour
G. Daniel - Labour
T. Fawthrop (Chair) - Conservative
K. Forward - Labour
A. Roberts - Labour
S. Springthorpe - Independent
J. Waite (Vice Chair) - Conservative
J.Wilson - Conservative
Letter to the Hastings Observer, 19th June 2008
One law for the rich...
And the road: both Hastings and East Sussex Councils are dead set against providing a road-calming scheme for Rock-a-Nore Road.
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"First they ignore you,
then they ridicule you,
then they fight you,
then you win."
-- Mahatma Gandhi
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