National Trust get away with blatant abuse of planning law
greatly encouraged to get a letter (finally) from Purbeck District Council Planning
Department in reply to a letter we wrote to them in November 1996.
Planning permission required for red
posts - Trust give 14 days to apply
reply, they stated that they had inspected the marker posts erected by the
and determined that planning permission was required, and that the Trust had
been given fourteen days to apply for it, in default of which the matter would
be referred to the Planning Committee for enforcement action, i.e., to make an
order for the posts to be removed.
Recommendation to enforce planning
watered down to 'no further action'
We were therefore hopeful that
at the very least the Trust would be hauled over the coals, our best case
scenario being of course that the Council would order all the posts removed.
However, by the time the matter reached the Planning Committee at the end of
May, the planning officer had "had a meeting" with Property Manager
and the recommendation had been watered down to no further action.
SUN not allowed to speak at planning
In the event
a sanitised version of events was presented to the councillors, only one of whom
appeared to be in the least sympathetic to our objections; we were not allowed
to speak at the meeting and a great deal of information - number of posts, their
size, etc., - was not presented despite having been sent in to the planning
department in plenty of time. Over 60 members responded to our circular and
wrote to the Council: to those members, thanks for trying, and thank you also to
all those who sent me copies of their letters and the Council's replies.
Councillors express 'hope' scaffold
posts would be replaced with wooden ones
We shall never know what enabled the National Trust to get away with
what we perceive as abuse of planning law. Possibly as a sop to us, the
councillors did express the "hope" that the ultra-hideous and
extremely hazardous metal posts - lengths of scaffold pole, apparently -
would be replaced with wooden ones, but there was no element of
compulsion in this and it is unlikely that the National Trust will
However, we have no intention of giving up.