LITTLE Thurrock Conservative councillors, Tom Kelly and Rob Gledhill, have slammed further delays for the planning decision regarding the application for mobile homes and caravans on land at Malvern Road.
Conservative Councillor Tom Kelly said: "Nearly a year ago the planning inspector held an enquiry for the application on the greenbelt behind Malvern Road. Every resident was hopeful the Council’s rejection would be swiftly reflected in the decision by the Secretary of State, Eric Pickles.
"Then, all because of a court action brought under the Human Rights act by travellers in Kent, months of silence. It’s utter madness – how can the Secretary of State’s job be unnecessarily restricted by this ridiculous piece of legislation only fit for the scrap heap! It’s clear the blame for this delay sits solely on the shoulders of those quite content to allow everything to be made about ‘human rights’ – what about the human rights of Malvern Road residents?"
The original planning application was submitted following months of frustration. Residents suffered from roads being blocked off or dug up, works to clear the site being carried out without permission and trees cut down exposing the residents to excess noise. The application received a record amount of objections, inspiring many residents to speak out at a 4 day long hearing last June.
Fellow Conservative and group Leader Rob Gledhill said "I am disgusted that this appeal decision has been delayed for so long. Residents have been more than patient after suffering numerous and pointless delays in the planning process, the appeal date and the Secretary of State’s decision.
"I have spoken to Mr Pickles, in person, about the delays and frustration of residents and councillors, and am satisfied that he could not have done more to bring this and similar cases to a swift conclusion.
"It’s another example of this act being misused at the expense of common sense and obliviousness of the bigger picture. For residents’ sake, I hope this will be brought to a speedy resolution as soon as possible. Tom and I will be writing to the planning inspectorate asking what will happen next so we can keep residents informed."