Letter of complaint to Swale

21 May 2006

Mr Mark Bilsborough
Chief Executive
Swale Borough Council
Swale House
East Street
Kent ME10 3HT

Re: Conduct of the Planning Department

I am writing to lodge an official complaint about the way in which the planning department has conducted itself during the course of the current Local Plan Inquiry. In particular we would like to draw your attention to the fact that Planning Department has failed in its duty to provide a copy of the Kent Science Park’s proof of evidence to us in due time. In fact so late was its arrival that had the Inquiry not been postponed we would have only had the evidence the afternoon before the hearing.

We did not have this at the time of the site visit to the Kent Science Park and had to ask the inspector to explain himself when he referred to “the 6 hectare expansion”. To my knowledge we were not the only ones to have not been furnished with this evidence.

However looking at the response from Swale Council it would seem that other parties have not only had this for some time, but also been able to consult the plans and have their comments incorporated in to the response document.

We would also note that Swale’s own response document was very late in reaching us and again not within the due timescale as set out by the inspector.

Whilst we appreciate that the planning department has been busy of late, this is a public inquiry and the inspector provided clear guidelines on the timescales involved before the inquiry commenced.

We consider this to be a serious breach of duty and would trust that any action taken reflects the gravity of this.

I look forward to your response.

Andy Hudson
Chairman, Five Parishes Opposition Group