Thursday, September 25, 2008

17 years and counting

During 1991, 17 years ago, I told the council that the developer was constructing the new roadway in the wrong position and too close to my property for it to be completed without it impacting on my property and that was something I did not want and would not allow. Rather than resolve the problem then and get the developer to move the road they ignored my warning and let the developer continue to build and sell houses. The developer was in breach of the road adoption agreement during 1994 but they still gave them planning permission to start phase 2. Even worse they had no road adoption agreement on this phase at all.

The council only started to get worried when the developer went bust leaving an unfinished and unadopted road. During 1997 they offered me a step at the boundary of my property or a ramp on my land. I refused both pointing out that they had not only caused the problem due to their failure to enforce planning breaches they had also ignored my repeated warnings. After the first LGO investigation they promised the then LGO that they would move the road in order to resolve the problem.

However, after they planned and costed the work they decided not to bother and attempted to complete the works during 2001 by constructing a ramp on my land instead. I self abated and complained to the LGO naively thinking that she would find the council guilty for not fulfilling their earlier promise. Unfortunately the current LGO now thinks that I should allow the council to complete the roadway in a way that impacts on my property in order to get them out of their self created difficulties on the cheap. My question is why should I? As the victim in all this why should I go out of my way to help the council, when all they have done over the last 11 years is attempt to threaten and intimate me into allowing them to complete the works without demur. This was a huge mistake on their part because although I am sympathetic to open and honest negotiation I will not tolerate threats and intimidation of any kind.

Why did Vale Royal Borough Council allow the developer to continue building and selling houses long after they knew about the problem? Why are they still reluctant to enforce planning obligations on phase two and three of the site? There are two separate section 106 planning obligations that stipulate that a number of houses on phase two and phase three of the site should not be occupied until the open space and play area have been transferred to the council. 12 years after the developer built and sold all the houses on phase 2 and 7 years after another developer built and sold all the houses on phase three, the play area and open space have still not been transferred to the council and no enforcement action has been taken.

In addition. why is a developer still cutting the verges on an adopted part of the road whilst the council are cutting the verges on an unadopted part of the road? And why does the LGO assert that except for a small section of road adjacent to my property the other roads on the development are adopted when Cheshire County Council's own road adoption gazetteer show them as unadopted. Why did Cheshire County Council return the £50 definative statement fee when I asked for the adoption status of the road rather than supply me with a definitive statement? Why has the LGO repeatedly misinformed and mislead me? Why did the LGO manipulate the expert evidence? Why has the LGO refused to give me a copy of most of the evidence given to them by Cheshire County Council. Why am I having to complain to the Information Commissioner because Cheshire County Council won't give me a copy of the information they gave the LGO? And the list goes on and on.....

As far as I am concerned something stinks in the planning enforcement office at Vale Royal Borough Council, the highway and legal departments of Cheshire County Council and the Local Government Ombudsman's office and I smell one big cover up. Either that or the people involved are the most incompetent public servants of all time. Confusion or collusion? You decide.

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