Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Troika Development - Letter from Cllr Adrian Fudge

Some of you may have recieved a letter from one of my ward colleagues, Cllr Adrian Fudge, about the Troika development.

I've been asked by a number of people to clarify its contents, as it's largely about me, and I'm happy to do so.

In it there is a comment about my letter saying the Troika development was rejected on officers’ advice. This statement isn’t correct.

What Cllr Fudge is referring to is the proposed pro forma letter which we put out allowing people to object. In the letter it said: “I concur with the Planning Officer’s opinion, in his decision notice, that the proposed development is of an unacceptable scale and will have a detrimental effect upon the surrounding area.”

Essentially it is quoting from a letter which comes from the Chief Planning Officer each time a planning application is rejected and refers to the two reasons the planning board gave for refusal of the application. The Head of Planning asked me if I would change the term ‘Planning Officer’s opinion’ to ‘The Council’s opinion’ in case there was any confusion over the fact that the officers had recommended acceptance. I was happy to do this and the second half of the 2,000 letters we put out about the issue carried the amended version.

Otherwise my position remains the same, I believe that the expansion of the hospital alone on to the site would be the best use of it. Access arrangements would have to be improved, but in general it is the best use.

The alternative that Troika put forward and that Cllrs Fudge and Ketchley back is for 3,500 workers and 900 parking spaces. To me that simply doesn’t stack up, it would cause chaos locally.

The interesting points come in their sudden conversion to residents parking permits, which is something the Liberals have been quite opposed to up until now. The other issue is that the original plans did not offer the maximum number of parking spaces for the office development,

Fran Ketchley voted for that scheme and Adrian Fudge now supports it. They do seem to have gathered that this is going to be an issue. However, that maximum would still only suggest parking for around 1,100 out of 3,500 as far as I understand it.

I hope this clarifies any concerns people have about the letter.

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