Totnes resident objects to planning application due to LEP board member involvement

Response to the resubmission of planning application 0412/15/F Brimhay by SDRHA.

Community, Consultation and Land

We strongly object to this application on the following grounds:

” … 2/ This application cannot be considered in an unbiased way for the following reasons.

This application was developed under the authority of Tim Jones, in his position as director in charge of property at Dartington Hall Trust. Tim Jones, or the Heart of the South West L.E.P., has not publicly disclosed any relationship or links to this Brimhay application.

Tim Jones was a founder, chairman and is a current a director or the Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership. In this role he oversees creation of plans for “devolution” of powers to Devon County Council and South Hams District Council. In this position, Mr Jones has significant influence over both councils and their officers. In his other roles as major property developer, financer, founder and controller of Devon and Cornwall Business Council, vice chair of PACB, prominent with the chamber of commerce as well active in a number of non-transparent organisations, he exerts yet more influence. These influence are not disclosed, transparent, or accountable in this application.

The HOSW LEP documentation repeatedly states that they wish to “overcome barriers to planning”. However they do not give details on which barriers or how they intend to overcome them. Barriers to planning include local communities wishes, protected species laws, and environmental protection laws, and quotas for lower cost housing, to name but a few.

Therefore, due to the above mentioned, this application cannot be considered by officers in this council in an unbiased way. …”.

Awkward.