Fairness in Planning

Formerly the Armando Martins Campaign this campaign successfully changed the outlook of one man whose neigbours abused the UK Planning System to intimidate him. Because so many people came forward with similar stories and the attitude displayed by the Local Planning Authority to Armando’s reasonable request we think Amateur Radio is at risk and therefore continue to campaign for fairness in planning. We will continue to gather data on failed planning applications and the inequalities we discovered – and use this to support others.

http://strugl.org/the-armando-martins-campaign/

6 thoughts on “Fairness in Planning”

  1. As long as the same element is in charge of the planning team, I doubt much will change as the current planning committee leadership has a final say on the amateur planning applications, AND one in particular has promised to “make Canterbury beautiful again”, I doubt much will change. However, we are hopeful that we can influence these changes.

  2. As we found John, the planning process used by Canterbury City Councils LPA, is not the one advertised by the planning inspectorate, Kent County Council and the Minister for Communities and planning et al. We think austerity has further opened the planning system up to abuse. From what we see, guidelines provided by the national planning policy framework and all other relevant planning guidance are being flaunted in favour of arbitrary decision making. Worse still, in Canterbury this has now been written into local plans, made without consulting relevent local people like yourself. From what we saw, planning officers reports are meant to enlighten the planning committee and inform their decision using objective evidence and these should be unbiased, showing all the reasons why an application should be supported, as well as those reasons why it might not. The planning officers we have met haven’t got the time to do effective site visits or produce reports and the templates they are sharing and cutting and pasting from are heavily biased against planning applications from radio amateurs. Here we have a strong sense of what bullshit smells like. There is nothing we have seen to suggest planning officers make site visits which are backed by measured and accurately researched reports. At a planning committee meeting you would only get three minutes to change the mind of the committee, who only believe what they hear from their own “qualified” people and know nothing about amateur radio and why its important to you. The way Armando Martins planning application was manipulated away from the advertised process and dismissed by the planning committee smacks of tyranny. Our two year old complaint to the ombudsman has yet to be investigated. Local Government Officers are encouraged to stop corresponding with people when it becomes “counter productive”. This completes the wall of silence. On a different topic – planning enforcement, we also witnessed the lack of investigatory skills shown by the LPA’s enforcement officers when it comes to dealing with complaints. If a neighbour doesn’t like you, enforcement officers will take the view of who shouts loudest, no matter what is being said which is usually twaddle. This is instead of following a process that supports victims of malicious complaints. This is evidenced in planning reports that lead to a refusal on the grounds that somebody *may* complain. Something has been lost in Canterbury. The good news is, if you get on with your life, it’s up to people challenging you’re lifestyle to pay for legal action that supports their case. I highly recommend you follow RSGB guidelines and read the documents mentioned here before planning an antenna. The RSGB say succinctly what approach to take and what is and isn’t allowed\allowable. You should be prepared to stand up for your rights. However we realise not everyone enjoys a challenge and some people need support.

  3. I look forward in seeing how if any, changes are made to how they deal with amateur radio planning. My win in the appeal really speaks volumes for what they did wrong. The appeal inspctorate probably saw straight through their stupidity and with your ample help, swayed the decision in my favour. I can imagine there must be some alarm bells ringing in the CCC halls of residence as to how they lost, what they thought was a secure case. Througgout the process they never ventured far off their track. As the dust settles around my case, I have begun to erect some aerials namely a 1m dia topband loop in the garden, whose pole was concreted in place yesterday and the loop mounted. The sun does shine in Canterbury !!

      1. I have some antennas up and will add a few more as times goes by. We received a form to fill in from the tory party asking us what we wants and how they can help change things, guess what I mentions in the section windows “we need changes in planning law……..”
        They even included a return envelope which I will send back to the canterbury branch and wonder who else got these letters. Time to stoke the fire Stuart.

        1. Hi John, We mentioned you to your local MP, Rosie Duffield MP, two weeks ago when we went to give her an update on Armando’s current situation. Its good you are getting on with your life.

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