Conduct of Planning Officers

Stage 1 – Handled by the Principal Planning Officer, Mr P Cunningham.

The first charge against him is that he ignored direct questions such as ‘what is the planned height of a structure’ and attempted convert our enquiries into a complaint to hide the fact that no enforcement action had been taken. [work on the structure has stopped and 11 weeks pass]

There were sufficient numbers of protestors to get a Town Hall meeting with the PPO but it was private and not minuted and he was withholding evidence when he said the structure was compliant.
[3 weeks pass and evidence shows that it is wider than planned]

The evidence that the structure was wider than planned was met with a flat denial, and that became another charge against the PPO.
[3 weeks pass, work on the structure is resumed and proof that the structure is taller than planned emerges]

A formal complaint then goes in and this time with the proof that it is not only is it wider but taller than planned and this generates more serious charge against the PPO besides the flat denial and that is a referral back to the Town Hall meeting and request that a complaint be put in:

May I therefore suggest that you speak with the Chair of the residents group in respect of the points that you have raised below, as these have already been discussed and explained. If you are still not satisfied with the Council’s response then you should use the Council’s complaints procedure which has 3 stages. –

Principal Planning Officer – 13th January 2014

The complaint that the shed is oversize but no enforcement action taken is passed back to the residents association and The PPO was then asked to pass the complaint to the Second Stage.

Therefore until I have some satisfactory answers to my very reasonable questions I do not consider this matter closed. If you are unable to supply me with answers to my questions could you please pass the issue to
someone who can.

M Dawson – 14th January 2014

The Planning  Manager replaced the complaint with: “see email to planning 14/1/14. Mr Dawson asking various questions relating to the ongoing development at the slipway, River Drive, South Shields.”.

The complaint had been deleted and the first of many misrepresentations appeared. The first two being to repeat what the PPO has told us at the meeting  with reference to  an unauthorised drawing 8296/1A:

  1. the drawing was approved #21-28 and #30-38;
  2. the shed was not wider than planned #23 ;
  3. it was not taller than planned #31, #33, #34.

The rest were lies about a drawing that he had approved three months before, 8296/14:

  1. the gable end referred to the landward end #37;
  2. it was not to scale #37.

The # numbers refer to the paragraph numbers were they reappeared in the Ombudsman’s findings.

Planning Issues in South Shields