As Yew Tree Farm Phase 2 rears its ugly head in Burscough, WLBC will press ahead regardless of local concerns democratically raised by those who will suffer from it.
WLBC states “The current application is in accordance with the overarching scheme and the statutory consultees are satisfied, as they were in 2015, that the drainage proposals are acceptable and will not worsen flood risk on or off the site. The application is recommended for approval by Planning Committee” notwithstanding sewage and floods have invaded some areas of Burscough for the past five years.
And there is now a Burscough Flooding Group “Open Letter to WLBC Council Leader and Chief Operating Officer” which states “It was disappointing to note that you incorrectly stated in your email that I have made “allegations of corruption” in my letter when I did not. What I did ask was the following, drawn from the 2015 Transparency Code, “Has a culture of secrecy and lack of transparency in WLBC created an environment which allows corruption to flourish?”
“I would appreciate an answer to the question, if the Council Leader or Chief Executive will allow you to do so. I would particularly like to know what safeguards are in place to prevent the deferred decision making process being misused and what precautions are taken to verify that deferred decisions are fair?
“I note that you also state, “the responses from BFG have been given due consideration, and the above applications are being dealt with in accordance with the Council’s Constitution and both national and local planning policies”.
“Given that flooding in Burscough is an ongoing local controversy with a great deal of public interest, it would prevent the controversy growing if WLBC demonstrated the accuracy of its bold statement by revealing the care it took by providing the details missing from the officers report, such as: 1. The date and time of the meeting when consideration of BFG representation took place (even if there was only 1 person). 2. Where the consideration took place. 3. The technical reasons why all of the points raised were either accepted or discounted. 4. The numbers of attending Flood Risk Managers, councillors, officers and any others. 5. The job titles/suitability/technical competence of the attendees. 6. How the decision was made, for example was it made by equal voting of attendees, or in some other way”.
“WLBC doesn’t have a vested interest in its strategic development site if you ignore new housing bonus, rates, and CIL (are there any other benefits). I note that WLBC has nothing to say about the almost equally obvious vested interests of UU and LCC. Your offer that BFG meet with a planning officer rather than WLBC Council Leader or the Chief Operating Officer is entirely inappropriate given that the complaints are about planning and the suggestion that BFG have refused several offers of a meeting with the same officer is entirely incorrect”.
Readers may recall how anger about the entire development was related in 2016 as “Absolutely disgraceful, Burscough residents have had no say at all in this matter, l wasn’t asked and l bet a lot more residents weren’t either, the village won’t be able to cope with the mass amounts of people coming to live here, also the drainage system and road network eg A59. Seems to me a lot of underhanded activity here, say no more. Grrrrr”.