When Rotherham Politics learned of the withdrawal of the planning application to build a Gospel Hall and School for the Exclusive Brethren’s exclusive use, we realised that this withdrawal was strategic rather than permanent. So it has proved to be.
Withdrawing the doomed application was presumably just a cynical ploy to push the next application on to a more favourable legislative framework? The presumption in favour of development, comes to mind.
It has given them also, time to explore amelioration of some of the issues raised by objectors, with planning officers? Remember the Brethren are not short of a ‘bob or two’, so anything that money can pay for, to ‘smooth’ the way is possible!
It must have come as a blow then, for the Brethren to learn of the existence of extensive archaeology, Roman and pre-Roman, if the surveys are correct, extending over most of the proposed site.
Another blow for the Brethren came with the Borough Council Elections in the Anston & Woodsetts Ward this year. The Brethren’s, ‘useful idiot’, Darren Hughes, had lost his seat to the Independent, Clive Jepson! Who, it should be noted, is adamantly opposed! The Brethren appear to have invested their hopes in Darren Hughes. How let down they must now feel?
Current thinking, we believe, is to give up on the School idea for now and push ahead with a Gospel Hall, built on the part of the site with no apparent archaeology underneath it. With the option of coming back for more, when the archaeological situation was sorted out!
This sounds a bit to us, as essentially the same as the ‘Trogan Horse’ of antiquity!
We have also learned that local opinion is resolutely opposed to any development on this green belt site and locals are preparing for the battle to come!
Previously on Rotherham Politics: ‘Cult’ wants to build school on Anston’s greenbelt!
Some sound advice by email:
“One thing always worth remembering is that any “pre-submission” discussions between RMBC people and your Exclusive Brethren friends, must be disclosed under an FoI Request.
I would make the request very general to cover “any communication with …. or their agents, or regarding …. ” or some phrase like that.
Some councils do have a formal system for giving advice and in those cases everything is routinely disclosed in the documentation. Rotherham doesn’t do this as far as I can see, but pulled out everything relevant when I once asked for information on another application.” Rothpol is very grateful to our source.