In our efforts to stop the proposed developments within Abergele we have been trawling through the Conwy Council minutes and agendas published on their website - great thing democracy - you get to access a lot of data relating to how the Council operate!
One of the questions that everyone has been asking us is how we have all not not heard about the proposed developments until this late stage in the proceedings - and we are at a late stage - the Deposit LDP is the final stage at which the community can affect what goes into the Local Development Plan. The only way we can force changes to the plan at this stage is by completing a complex technical form (Representation Form) and arguing why we object using specific arguments against 10 tests for soundness!!! We are currently interviewing several Planning Consultants with a view to hiring one to provide advice in completing the Representation Form.
Anyway back to that burning question - why did we not know about this?
Answer - we should have - read the interesting extract taken from CCBC minutes below:-
"The draft Conwy LDP 'Preferred strategy' was subject to 6 weeks statutory consultation in October 2006. Representations made by the Welsh Assembly Government on the Preferred strategy in October 2006 informed the Council that the strategy required further work and consultation on a Revised Preferred Strategy should take place prior to preparing a Deposit plan. Following a meeting held between CCBC planning policy and the WAG on 29th June 2008, a request has been made by the WAG for the Conwy LDP to go straight to deposit and disregard their previous advice on the preferred strategy in order to avoid possible substantial penalties set out in the European Waste Directive."
Can someone please explain to me what the European Waste Directive has to do with this, and more importantly when was it acceptable to short circuit or avoid the democratic process altogether just to avoid a penatly? Several words spring to mind - but I don't think I can publish them within this Blog.