Planning Inspectorate Decision – RMBC Incompetent

We bring you another sorry tale of Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council Planning Department and it’s simple failure to perform their duties. This has resulted in full costs awarded against RMBC! Anne is on the trail of the answer to that particular question:

Planning Inspectorate: Refs 2179568 etc: The Lord Conyers Arms, The Square, Wales, S26 5QN

“Dear Sir
I am appalled at the way Officer’s of RMBC have let down not only the parishioners of Wales but  the Council Tax payer in general. It is clear from the Planning Inspectorate decision notice that the Officer’s
responsible for carrying out the Planning Committee’s instruction have failed in their duty.
The Inspector states that it was up to RMBC to produce further evidence to substantiate their reasons for refusal of the application.  She further states that RMBC failed to do this.

She also says ‘it was not a listed building’  
It is not possible to ‘list’ a public house BUT why after the applicant manipulated it’s closure did the Borough Council NOT pursue Listed Building Status to ensure it’s survival?

Can you explain to me, how this dire state of affairs has arisen?
Can you also explain why an Officer of such ineptitude was allowed to represent RMBC at the Inspectorate Appeal?
Can you also explain why the same officer lied to parishioners regarding the venue for the appeal ? (see email below)
The Inspector categorically stated when asked that ‘the venue was RMBC’s choice’

I also attach a report from the same officer supporting refusal at one planning meeting yet at a later planning appeal he reversed his opinion and recommended approval, can you explain this action?

Do I conclude that this Officer failed to provide further evidence to the Inspectorate because he had ‘changed his mind’ and consequently decided NOT to implement the Planning Committee’s decision?

Do the Officer’s  of RMBC run the council and do just as they please – or are the supposed to carry out Councillor’s decisions?
The lack of preparation for the appeal has caused
1. the loss of a building much loved by parishioners
2. A large bill for the Council Tax payers of Rotherham
3. Allowed someone who is systematically destroying the heritage of our village to continue his destruction.

I have submitted a FOI request regarding the total cost of this fiasco to ratepayers.

I would be pleased to hear whether you condone such behaviour and indeed what action you will take to ensure this does not happen to any other area.”

yours faithfully

The documentary evidence:

Cover Letter.pdf
Costs Decision.pdf

From: Peck, Matthew <>
Sent: Tue, 8 Jan 2013 10:56
Subject: RE: Site at the Lord Conyers, The Square, Wales, Rotherham, S26 5QNDear Mrs ,

I refer to your email received 4 January 2012.
I can confirm that Wales Parish Council did not make any comments or object to any of the applications that related to the demolition of the Lord Conyers and the redevelopment of the site.
I hope this answers your query. If you have any further questions please do not hesitate to contact me.
Kind regards
Matthew Peck
Planning and Conservation Officer
Planning & Regeneration Service


18 thoughts on “Planning Inspectorate Decision – RMBC Incompetent

  1. Once again local taxpayers are forced to pay for the ineptitude of RMBC’s officers who blatantly failed to carry out their duties as required.
    The list of expensive failures by RMBC is getting longer by the day; Failure to investigate the Asian grooming scandal, failure to supervise Joyce Thacker and now this.There are other instances of course.
    I doubt the Compliant Drones will be in the least bothered by the costs to council taxpayers of another RMBC Up Cockus Tremendous.
    Councillors Gordon Watson and Jennifer Whysall-Wales-have taken a vow of silence on this matter. I do not imagine for one moment either of them will be forthcoming to their respective electors as to the true costs of this fiasco or why they did not continually publicise this and keep the people of Wales fully informed. No voices of dissent from a Brother and Sister of the ruling Labour clique eh?
    Wait for the howls of anguish about ‘The Cuts’ from RMBC when the Coalition limits local councils spending powers.
    Socialists always run out of other peoples money to spend.


    • Actually Cllr Whysall was the only one to attend the Inspectorate hearing. She spoke passionately to retain the building. Neither Cllr Beck or Watson bothered to provide written support or bothered to attend the hearing.


      • No good ‘speaking passionately’ if the end result is compliance.
        Where was her newsletter to local residents explaining her point of view and the reasons why she objected to the plans? No doubt she expects to be re-elected in 2014.
        I was told many years ago “Communication is the key to success”. Local councillors would do well to follow this wise advice.


      • RMBC have done everything to support the exclusive Brethren building on our green belt in Anston, it gives us no advantages as a community and is a Trojan horse. Both Anston and Dinnington parish council have objected to the plan.


  2. I think it is time to split RMBC into smaller entities. It was much better when Anston was controlled by the Kiveton and rural district. Services, facilities, planning were much better and money was spent much more wisely, without incurring debt.


  3. It’s my understanding that Cllr Beck Chair of Anston Parish Council actually voted at the Parish Council to support the application from the Brethren as did the other Borough Cllr on Anston Parish Council. (Can’t think of her name) I believe they were the only Parish Cllrs who voted to support it. Speaks volumes about divided loyalties or links with Darren Hughes whichever you choose to believe !!


    • Was it Joe Burton who voted for it. She did say that she would rather that be built there, than something worse later. Robin Stonebridge wasn’t at the meeting, but I saw a comment of his in the local paper, that said it was a Trojan horse development.


  4. Two years ago a number of Anston residents,myself included organised a petition objecting to proposed plans to build on Green Belt land between Lakeland Drive and the Butterfly Farm. I managed to get a written report (with the help of the Manageress of the BF) from a guy who gave several reasons why this land cannot be developed ie: Bats,Rare and at Risk Fauna and so on. We managed to collect almost 2000 signatures and gave all the evidence to RMBC. 1 year later another proposal was put forward by RMBC, as part of the Urban Development Plan and lo and behold! Anston Parish Council never uttered a word of objection to either of the proposals.
    There were various mutterings from some Parish Councillors about the plans but they were eventually smothered.
    It is a matter of record that the Compliant Drones re-elected several Labour councillors last year but most of the local electorate do not have a clue what Anston PC does or why it does.
    Blame the Coalition anyway for everything. That is the motto today.


  5. Dinnington voted unanimously against the Brethren. Anston had about 4 against, 2 for and 7 abstained. Shocking behaviour from our local councillors. I do have concerns that about one particular person on the council, who seems to be there to steer Labour policy in RMBC and doesn’t live in Anston. I have also heard that Dominic Beck is a borough councillor on another Parish council. Darren Hughes is another thing all together, people got him in as a Conservative and mid term he changed his allegiance and got booted off by Clive Jepson and independent at the next election. We are trying to slowly introduce independents onto the council, who will fight for the village.


  6. Just to be clear; Cllr Whysall could not make any comment or ‘speak passionately’ on the application before it was heard by RMBC. She is on the Planning Board and and would not have been able to either speak or vote at the meeting had she spoken out prior to the meeting of the board. Local Gvrmnt Act 1973

    It was much more important that she was able to speak at the planning meeting and thereby try (as she did) to convince other members that the building should be preserved. The fact that Planning Officer’s then failed to do their job cannot be laid at Cllr Whysall’s door.

    Wales Parish Council failed (again) miserably to protect village heritage either. The Dominic Beck and Gordon Watson together with the Parish Council could have spoken out and organised as you suggest, but as Beck and Watson don’t live here it is clear they couldn’t care less what happens in Wales as long as they get paid. As for the Parish Council, well my views on Dibley are well known.


    • Fair comment.Did Whysall declare her interest at the meeting? As a member of the Planning Board she should not have been able to vote and could have abstained.
      One of the reasons why Parish Councillors-irrespective of who they represent-do not publish newsletters is because giving information to the Compliant Drones is not in their best interests. Far better to treat them as mushrooms and pretend you’ve done a good job at election time.


      • Providing a borough councillor (who is a member of the planning board) has not made any public comment regarding a planning application prior to the planning board meeting, they are entitled to speak and vote on any planning application even if it falls within their ward.
        She did not have to declare an interest as she had no pecuniary interest in the application. Local Gvrmnt Act 1973

        Wales Parish Council does publish an attempt at a newsletter but it is usually full of rubbish.


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