So we have a new consultation on The Green Gap.
Unlike Didcot North East where consultees have been given 8 weeks to say whether they would use a community centre, we’ve been given 9 working days (until 1st February) to respond to 12 new technical documents.
We’ve already told them what we think. In huge numbers. Loudly. With passion. Along with sound policies references to support our case. However, we need to do it all over again. This will remove the possibility of the powers that be construing that we all felt Grainger’s cynical, speculative application was now suddenly wonderful.
Cathie Scotting (SODC’s Planning Officer looking after the application) kindly wrote to let us know that changes were coming. She said: “The purpose of the amendment is not to provide or maintain ‘a green gap’ as ( I am sure you will agree) this can only be achieved with little or no housing. The purpose of the amendment is to provide an enhanced multi-functional space for amenity, play , SUDs, tree protection, biodiversity alongside the existing footpath. When I speak of enhanced I specifically mean in relation to the proposal and not the existing situation.”
She is right. The changes do not address what she calls “material planning considerations”. The changes do not address how the application conflicts with SODC and NPPF policies. Indeed policies are not mentioned in any of the Applicant’s revised materials. The plan was contrary to policy. And still is.
You will also notice that Savills (acting for Grainger) confirm that the changes result from six consultees to the original consultation. All six are SODC or OCC officers. Not a single response from amongst the over 400+ submitted by the people of Didcot and East Hagbourne is referenced, let alone addressed.
In your new reply, you may wish to point that out to Cathie. You may wish to tell her that changes proposed by Grainger are not material to a consideration of the application and that as your original comments have not been addressed they continue to stand as material objections.
More news from us once we’ve been able to spot the difference between the old and the new application. Now where’s my magnifying glass….