Posted by: westlancashirerecord | May 25, 2017

Does WLBC Use Convenient Amusing Idiosyncrasies Against Complainants?

In a recent response to the ongoing vexing issue of Stage 3 of the Booth development, the Secretary of Burscough Flooding Group has suggested bypassing a ”response to complaints system” created by the Director of Planning. It all relates to “Approval of details reserved by condition no. 8 of planning permission 2016/0212/FUL relating to details of foul and surface water drainage. | Land North Of Junction With Pippin Street Liverpool Road South Burscough Lancashire”.

WLBC wrote “I refer to planning permission 2016/0212/FUL and to the details required under Condition 8. I am able to advise that the details provided in respect of the following condition are acceptable and may be treated as formally approved by the Local Planning Authority: Condition 8 – Drainage; The details as indicated on Clancy Consulting Plan Ref: 100002 Rev 07 received by the Local Planning Authority on 16th May 2016; Walker Design Plan Refs: C-104 rev B and C-103 rev H dated 10/02/16. For the avoidance of doubt the developer is advised that the development must be completed in accordance with the approved details to fully meet the requirements of the condition”…John Harrison

The dissatisfaction with this case has rumbled along with no signs of it being agreed to any time soon. Mr Rattray wrote once again a few days ago and told the WLBC Chief Executive “To use Mr Harrisons words, I remain dissatisfied with the responses in his letter and wish my complaint to be investigated again. I would also like to highlight some points which have recently come to light which I would please like answers to:

“Regarding paragraph 2 in Mr Harrison’s letter immediately below. I should explain that I wasn’t quoting the Engineer, but simply clarifying what he meant which is that there will be an increase in flood risk, because if there was a reduction or zero increase then he would have stated that instead.

“The Environment Agency (EA) disagrees with WLBC’s assertion that it is responsible for designating Critical Drainage Areas (CDAs). It says that areas which aren’t near rivers are WLBC’s responsibility. Given there aren’t any CDAs in Burscough and it suffers from widespread surface water flooding in storms. It seems somewhat remiss of someone (body) not to investigate flooding and designate areas like Lordsgate Lane as CDAs when necessary. Please can you tell me if WLBC has ever undertaken investigations into flooding at Lordsgate Lane/Admiralty Close itself; and/or asked any and/or all of the Flood Risk Management Authorities (FRMA) partners to undertake investigations into flooding in Lordsgate Lane/Admiralty Close (under Freedom Of Information (FOI) legislation/environmental legislation if necessary)?

“There is no need for WLBC and the EA to disagree about their responsibilities, because it is mandatory for WLBC to regularly meet with all its FRMA partners and for all the partners to have signed a memorandum of understanding, which determines the extents of their individual responsibilities. Therefore, please may I have a copy of all agreements and documents concerning flood risk shared between WLBC and any and all of its FRMA partners, UU, the EA and LCC (under FOI legislation/environmental legislation if necessary)?

“I have copies of correspondence from WLBCs previous Engineer, in which he first infers that it was unusual to connect surface water drainage to a road drain, and later goes on to state that it was allowed by LCC because there was no history of flooding on the Tollgate Road. Yet BFG know that the same Engineer commissioned the West Lancashire Borough Council Flood Studies Investigation July 2010, which found that the Tollgate Road floods [It has been flooding for years because the drainage is inadequate. GR]. That report was kept secret by WLBC and only recently released to LCC. Please tell me why the report was kept secret for 7 years? And why WLBC didn’t it tell LCC about the regular problems with the Tollgate Road drain?

“UU told the developers to remove the surface connection from their SUDs system to UU’s sewer. Given UU have only acted because of information BFG obtained using FOI legislation from WLBC. Why didn’t WLBC put that evidence into the any of the Booths planning applications?

“Finally, as you recently informed me that John Harrison creates the responses to third stage complaints on planning. He had an input to part of the first stage and all of the 2nd stage. Can you either find an independent person to investigate my complaint? Or, if that is not agreeable to WLBC, can we just accept the second and 3rd stages are just one of the council’s convenient amusing idiosyncrasies and, with your agreement, I can take my complaint direct to the ombudsman at this point?” After all, who among the WLBC autocracy would be unconcerned that foul sewage might be swirling around their roads as has happened in Burscough ?

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