That any hopes RMBC may have had for treating the stopping up of Stubbin Lane as a rubber stamping exercise were dashed. The District Judge ordered there to be a full hearing on 19 June 2018. Currently the hearing is … Continue reading
Sandra Horridge, Secretary of the Hands Off Stubbin Lane Community Action Group, has sent us her reflections on a victory won but with the war still far from over:
From the Advertiser: Victory, But the Battle Goes On!
‘The evidence given during the local Public Inquiry held at the Drop-In Community Centre Upper Haugh on 20 and 21 November 2012 confirmed amongst other things, the deliberate attempt to acquire part of Stubbin Lane highway for the applicant’s personal use and the encouragement / lack of opposition to this by Rotherham Metropolitan Council(RMBC).
In addition, it became clear that RMBC (as a Highway Authority) was in breach of its statutory duties and had advised the applicant to ‘stop up’ the highway following the awarding of retrospective planning permission by RMBC for a building upon land which he did not own and is a public amenity.
The applicant, Gary Watson, 11 Hoober Court, Upper Haugh, upon cross examination, admitted that the land was not part of his property, had committed the criminal offence of obstructing a public highway and removed a public right of way.
Naeem Siraj, barrister has provided advice for the next stage of the proceedings.’
Secretary HANDS OFF STUBBIN LANE COMMUNITY ACTION GROUP
Frustration over choice of venue
AS secretary of the Hands off Stubbin Lane Community Action Group (HOSL), I have been following the case of the Lord Conyers public house (and its public inquiry outcome) with great interest.
I understand fully the frustrations felt by Anne Jarvis (Letters, January 11 and 18) and members of the community who were unable to attend owing to RMBC’s “choice” of venue, which did indeed deny access to members of the community as it was held far away from the site in question and thereby contravening Planning Inspectorate advice and the Equality Act 2010.
RMBC’s move for doing so was no doubt based upon their own convenience and without reference to the ordinary folk who make up the Lord Conyers community and who would wish to attend to have their views represented.
I am sure that RMBC officers are more than aware that any community includes the elderly, disabled, parents of young families and those who have neither a car at their disposal or the means to make alternative arrangements in order to attend a public inquiry (which may take several days) and in this case, was held at Riverside.
Worse sll, the reason for their choice of the Riverside venue is in conflict with the advice of the Planning Inspectorate.
In our case, (Protesters’ Fury in Land Grab Row December 7, 2012) a public inquiry was held at the Monkwood and Thorogate Community Centre on November 20 and 21 and the community (of all ages and circumstances) filled the centre.
In the March 2012 Planning Inspectorate advice was clear that “the venue would be booked by the applicant and should be close to the site in question in order that the Planning Inspector could incorporate a site visit within the Inquiry and the community could access it”.
At that stage, HOSL suggested an ideal venue approximately 200 yards away from the site and this was given to the applicant.
However, the applicant booked an unsuitable venue, one that wasn’t nearby and, worse still, had no parking (or off street) and alighting from cars on such a busy road would have been impossible. HOSL made immediate challenge to the Planning Inspectorate under the Equality Act 2010 and the venue was changed to the Drop In Centre, which was the original suggestion by HOSL.
Consequently, HOSL was represented by a barrister to a packed centre and the planning inquiry could be observed (and heard) by an already very concerned community.
It was exceedingly well attended and HOSL members were able to participate in the site visit. Interestingly, the applicant only had a party of four in total, which included two RMBC officers.
Given RMBC’s tardy reputation and the general absence of councillor interest in local affairs as was the case at Upper Haugh and Manor Farm (including TARA Manor Farm), my advice would be to double check everything, not believe what officers and senior managers say and, more importantly, be proactive in order to best protect your local heritage as RMBC and its elected members won’t.
Secretary of the Hands off Stubbin Lane Community Acon Group (HOSL)
Previously: Hands Off Stubbin Lane Group – Fury
The latest planning issue causing major problem at the moment concerns the residents of Stubbin Lane who are objecting to the annexation of land and the retrospective planning application. HOSL, only got a pdf of this at the moment, if a reader can convert it to a jpeg, so we can display it, we would be most grateful. Many Thanks for the jpeg.