Mid Devon throttling back on pre-application advice and duty officer availability

As Mid Devon District Council (temporarily?) cut back their morning duty planning officer availability to only Tuesday and Thursday mornings, it leaves a bit of a whole for those seeking planning advice.

Whether or not you need planning permission is not really a service offered by large or small private planning consultants.

But good, clear advice is given via the Planning Portal.  Indeed, just this week the advice on their website has been re-organised, making it clearer for the lay-user.

So, if you need initial planning guidance, check these pages on the Planning Portal to help yourself before double-checking with the planning department.

Does the planning process bring out the worst in people?

Throughout my career in planning I have trotted out the mantra that planning brings out the worst in people. I could be standing in someone’s kitchen discussing the neighbours or retelling the tale of a feisty committee meeting. Someone seeking planning permission makes people fight their corner, on both sides of the fence. On occasions this fight can vehement.

An arson attack on council offices in Oxfordshire last week is believed to have been started after a planning application was rejected.

South Oxfordshire District Council leader John Cotton said the planning department “has pretty much disappeared”.

So, does the planning process bring out the worst in people? Quite possibly!

Well I had an awesome summer of cricket!

Whilst not a member of Somerset Cricket Club this year, I did enjoy a few excursions to the County Ground and Exmouth Cricket Club this summer. I appreciate that I am a relative newcomer to this game and some would believe that it is sacrilege that I prefer the shorter forms of the game, but at least I know what a 4 and 6 are, unlike the High Court judge who asked what they were yesterday!

East Meon Forge and Cricket Ground Protection Association is challenging East Hampshire District Council’s decision to grant planning permission for an extension with a residential first floor over the single-storey former blacksmith’s workshop.

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East Meon Forge and Cricket Ground Protection Association is challenging a decision to grant planning permission for an extension with a residential first floor over the single-storey former blacksmith’s workshop

Robert Fookes, appearing for the association, said that one of the grounds of objection to the development was that the forge was very close to the square on which cricket is played. He told Mrs Justice Beverley Lang ‘sixes and fours are frequently hit by batsmen on to forge land, including the roof of the building itself’.

However, the baffled 59-year-old judge, sitting at London’s High Court, said:

‘I don’t play cricket – what does that mean?’

Well, it’s like this…..