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Planning Blunder sees Hundreds of Applications approved without proper Consultation
Birmingham City Council have investigated the error.
A critical element of the planning process is consultation whereby local residents and interested parties can submit comments or object to the application.
Whether the application relates to a new city-centre development or a single storey extension to a suburban house, the views of local people are essential for a Council’s Planning Officers to consider to fully understand the implications of development.
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It has come to light that at Birmingham City Council, a serious administrative error has resulted in thousands of letters being sent late, meaning that local residents who may be effected by developments missed the opportunity to have their views heard.
As many as 9,000 letters where either not printed or sent late between April and November of this year. The issue came to light when a local resident shared a letter received several weeks after the consultation period had already closed for a nearby application.
The Council have admitted that this blunder has effected as many as 752 applications, of which 318 were approved. The severity of this has been questioned by the Conservative Opposition Group on Birmingham City Council.
Leader of the Conservatives Cllr Robert Alden (Con, Erdington) told Counter Cut the blunder “does not only make a mockery of the planning system, but it totally undermines the voices of local people and disregards their right to have a say on developments in their area.”
Cllr Ewan Mackey (Con, Sutton Roughley), Deputy Leader of the Opposition asked what the effects of this may be on applications that have already been given consent without proper consultation - “will they now be subject to judicial reviews?”.
Birmingham City Council have stated that measures have been put in place to ensure the error is not repeated.
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