Thursday, 4 June 2015

Roger Harding Planning Chairman Won’t Swear Treloyhan Planning Application Lawful

Open letter to:   Mr Roger Harding, Chairman, West Sub-Area Planning Committee, Konsel Kernow.                (Cornwall Council, Britain.)
Date:  3rd June, 2015
Dear Mr Harding,         
Treloyhan Wildlife Corridor

I am a resident of Newlyn and an ex-resident of St.Ives and I am writing to you about the proposed building of luxurious housing in Treloyhan Wildlife Corridor.  I understand that planning permission was recently granted for this scheme and that you are the Chairman of the planning committee, so obviously know all about it.

There seem to be misgivings in certain quarters as to the legitimacy of this approval.  I wonder therefore if you would be happy to give me your word of honour that all legal procedure has been properly followed, all relevant regulations applied and all legally appropriate considerations taken fully into account in an unbiased, accurate and thorough approach to this case?

Since so much is at stake in this matter, I’m sure you would not mind just reassuring the people of Penwith that this application has been processed with scrupulous attention to all lawful obligations.

Thank you very much.

Yours sincerely,                                            Jeremy Schanche

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E-mail reply from Mr Roger Harding, Konsel Kernow, 4th June, 2015:

To Jeremy Schanche
Dear Mr Schanche,

I did receive your letter.  As Chairman of West Planning Committee I was involved in the site meeting, public meeting and two committee meetings.
Members are not involved in other parts of the process such as the preparation of reports, consultations, advertising etc, therefore I am not be able to give you the assurance that you are seeking.
I have passed your letter on to the relevant officer to reply to you direct.
Kind regards,
Roger Harding
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Reply to Mr Roger Harding, 4th June, 2015:
Public e-mail message to:  Mr Roger Harding, Konsel Kernow
Dear Mr Harding,
Thank you for your prompt reply.  However, as Chairman of the West Sub-Area Planning Committee you obviously have the responsibility of ensuring that all decisions made at planning meetings are based on true, honest and accurate information and I find it extraordinary that you could personally vote to approve the transformation of a protected wildlife corridor into luxury dwellings for the rich, without being certain that all business pertaining to the application had been conducted properly and legally.  

Surely if you had any doubt as to the legality of the application, you should not have voted for it to go ahead.  Conversely, since you, the Chairman of Planning, were happy to go ahead and approve the application then surely you could have no logical objection to taking a simple oath to the effect that the law has been observed.

I believe it was pointed out at the meeting that proper and lawful procedure had NOT been followed, yet  these objections seem to have been simply overruled.   

Would you be prepared to give your word that to the best of your knowledge this application has been handled properly and lawfully? Surely you can have no objection to this.

Your e-mail referred to an anonymous 'officer' to whom you were passing my letter.  Unless this 'officer' is prepared to take the oath and publicly declare that everything has been done legally and properly, no purpose will be served by simply 'passing it on'.   

I suggest somebody at Konsel Kernow take responsibility for this. We, the populace, have to buy our justice for £30,000 a go, so I feel strongly that our paid 'representatives' should at least be able to assure us that they are acting lawfully.

Yours sincerely,   Jeremy Schanche
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Mr Harding's reply and that of the anonymous 'officer' will be published on this blog as soon as they are received.
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To       4th June, 2015

This message is for Mr John Pollard, Leader of Konsel Kernow, please forward it - many thanks.

Public E-mail to Mr John Pollard:    U R G E N T

Dear Mr Pollard,

Re:       Treloyhan Wildlife Corridor

Would you please tell me whether you, or anyone else at Konsel Kernow is prepared to swear that the planning application that was approved for building luxury housing in a nature-corridor at Carbis Bay has been handled properly, scrupulously and legally?

Please tell me whose responsibility it is to ensure the legality of procedure in regard to this matter.

I would appreciate your reply with the greatest urgency.  Will anyone take responsibility for assuring the public of the legality of process?

Sincerely,  Jeremy Schanche

Flyers to seed the truth:
Print, cut, distribute, liberate.

6th June 2015 : Update to Blog-post:
E-mail response from Roger Harding, Chairman:
Following reveived 5.6.2015:
"Dear Mr Schanche,
Thank you for your email.  As previously stated I was not involved in every aspect of the planning process and as such am unable to give you the assurance you are requesting.

As this is now a resolved item, if you have any concerns or complaints in the way the application was handled you should address the to Mr. Richard Williams, the Council’s Monitoring Officer, at County Hall, Truro. 
Kind regards,
Roger Harding"
 Reply to Roger Harding, 5.6.2015
Public Message To:  Mr Roger Harding, CHAIRMAN,West Sub-Area Planning Committee 5/6/15
C.C.                       Mr John Pollard, Chairman, Cornwall Council.
Dear Mr Harding,                        TRELOYHAN WILDLIFE CORRIDOR

Thank you for your reply.  
As previously stated, you voted for the above application - as the Chairman, you clearly have a responsibility to the public to ensure that things are done in proper legal fashion.

It is curious that you are not willing to affirm the legality of process in the above application, even 'to the best of your knowledge'. I wonder if the possibility of an appearance at the High Court is a factor.

You have not told me who WILL take responsibility for such an assurance, and Mr Pollard, head of Cornwall Council, has so far failed to respond to my challenge.  

This 'item' is far from being resolved, as you well know.  

If either yourself, Mr Pollard, or some other 'officer' of our democratic machinery has not responded positively and sworn to me that proper process has been observed in regard to the Treloyhan case by close of business on Monday 8th June, then I will have to make this matter known to the regulatory bodies, the press, media, etc..

The public have a clear and inalienable right to know that this matter is being handled legally and properly.  

Best wishes,  sincerely,  Jeremy Schanche
Following letter received 6.6.2015:
From:  Ben Curnow, Legal Officer, Planning, Legal Services,Governance and Information Service, Communities and Organisationsl Development Directorate,Corwall Council (phew!)
To:  Jeremy Schanche              Dated: 4.6..2015
Dear Mr Schanche,
West Sub-Area Planning Committee - PA14/00811 - Christian Guild Holidays, Treloyhan Manor Hotel, St.Ives - 5 May 2015 
I have had sight of your letter of 3 June 2015 to Councillor Roger Harding, the Chair of the West Sub-Area Planning Committee.

The Council is content that the meeting was conducted in accordance with the correct procedures.

The manner in which the final decision was made was correct and binding.

I understand that Councillor Harding will also be responding to you, personally.

Yours sincerely  Ben Curnow
E-mail to Ben Curnow, Cornwall Council Lawyer, 6.6.2015:
Dear Mr Curnow,

Thank you for your letter, received 6th June 2015.

I am aware that the council is 'content' - this seems to be the problem.

As you are aware, your letter falls short of what was requested, which was that somebody at the council takes an oath to the effect that the Treloyhan Wildlife Corridor application was handled with the required degree of scrupulous attention to all legally required procedures.  Anything less than this is meaningless and will not satisfy the public. 

Would you please inform me urgently who you believe IS responsible for overseeing the legality of applications. The CHAIRMAN, Mr Harding, does not seem to think that HE is responsible, and has passed it to YOU, the lawyer. Will you now affirm on oath?

Sincerely,  Jeremy Schanche
Email from Roger Harding, 8.6.2015
Dear Mr Schanche,

Thank you for your most recent emails which I have forwarded to the Council’s Monitoring Officer.

Kind regards,
Roger Harding
Comment:  Monday evening, 8th June 2015, and, despite repeated requests, nobody at Cornwall Council is prepared to swear that the planning application for the luxury housing on Treloyhan Wildlife Corridor has been handled lawfully!  Not the chairman of the planning committee, Roger Harding, not the council’s lawyer Ben Curnow, and not the council’s ‘leader’, John Pollard, who has not responded in any form whatsoever.  These fellows aren’t going to say anything on oath because they are frightened of implicating themselves in a case that could end up in the High Court.  
The rampant corruption at the heart of Cornwall Council really needs eradicating.  J.S.
Letter submitted to Cornishman newspaper - hope they print it:
Dear Editor,                                                         9.6.2015


I found it extraordinary that Cornwall Council’s Planning Department could give permission to build a luxury housing complex on a ‘protected’ piece of woodland and a designated wildlife corridor.  It struck me that the council’s own environmental regulations should protect such places.  It also appears that the information on which the planner’s decision was based, had some serious flaws in it’s accuracy, to say the least.  
I therefore wrote to my local councillor, Mr Roger Harding, (Conservative) who also happens to have chaired the meeting that gave this approval, and who voted for it himself.  I asked Mr Harding if he was prepared to swear that the application had been handled with all due attention to legal procedure – he was not prepared to do so.  He referred me to a council lawyer, Ben Curnow, who was also unwilling to affirm the legality of procedure.  I also contacted Mr John Pollard, head of the council.  He totally ignored my request that somebody take responsibility for ensuring the proper handling of this case and has not responded at all.
Although Magna Carta states that Justice shall not be sold in this land, the reality in today’s Britain is that public officials can draw a good salary and write off protected woodlands with the stroke of a pen;  whereas for the ordinary people to get justice, we have to raise £30,000 for a Judicial Review to challenge their decisions.
Shouldn’t a council, and its officers, work to fulfill the wishes of those who elect and pay them?
Sincerely,  Jeremy Schanche

Update:  My first letter to Roger Harding, dated 3.6.2015, was printed in The Cornishman newspaper on 11.6.2015.

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