Evasions and Avoidance

of the permitted height of the shed by STC on behalf of UK Docks:

First communication from the Council in writing started off, Re: “Boat repair shelter at Tyne Slipway, River Drive, South Shields,” and they soon became, Re; “Approved boat repair shelter at Tyne Slipway, River Drive, South Shields but the drawings supplied indicated otherwise.
Not long after, a few days in fact, the Council started being evasive about the height. Some of the evasions are better described as denials.

It is split into pages which naturally fall into place if one follows the stages outlined in their guide to how they deal with complaints:

1 09/09/13
Evasion
Forward Pass
Case Officer asked about the height of the shed, “Has the revised height of 15.5metres been approved or is it in breach of the 1996 Planning approval?
No answer and the enquirer was referred the Council’s Complaints procedure.
2 09/09/13
Misinformation
Shields Gazette reports that the shed is 36ft (11m) high and UK Docks, said:
“All I can say is that we have been through all the controls with the planners, and the work meets all the necessary legal requirements. All we are doing is going ahead with the previous planning permission.”
It is over 50ft (15+m) and has planning permission for 42ft( 12.5m).
They had also set the footings for a structure wider and longer than planned.
3 10/09/13
Misinformation
Shields Gazette repeats that the shed is 36ft (11m) high and work started in 2001;
It is over 15m high and the footings set in 2001 are 1m wider and 5.5m longer than planned. The planned height is less than 13m.
4 11/09/13
Evasion
Request to Case Officer to confirm planned height: “Could you please confirm what height the structure is being constructed to? It seems that one had approval (12m), and the other didn’t (15.5m).”
By mid October there was still no answer – nor to any of the other questions raised.
5 13/09/13
Evasion
Reminder to Case Officer to confirm planned height: “Could you please confirm what height the structure is being constructed to? It seems that one had approval (12m), and the other didn’t (15.5m).”
No Answer

First meeting at Town Tall

6 25/11/13
Denial
Meeting arranged to determine whether there has been approval for the slipway cover. Local Residents are told that the structure is built to plan. When we knew it had not. Suspected it had been built without planning permission.
Suspicions confirmed – no drawing produced to support the view that the shed had approval.
7 16/12/13
Denial
Councillor Anglin wrote on 16-Dec-13:
Michael,
I took no minutes as is customary at these informal meetings.
1)For your record I am sure all would agree The Exec representatives of the Group accepted that the construction had been made legally as per drawings seen.
This representative did not accept that view. The other two were conflicted (had an interest in UK Docks).
8 19/12/13
Denial
Councillor Anglin wrote on 19-Dec-13:
Please see below the reply from Peter (Cunningham). ” Hello – I confirmed at our meeting with Mr Dawson and others on 25th Sept Nov 2013 that I had measured the width and length of the ground floor external footprint and height of the structure and that these dimensions were all in accordance with the attached approved drawing and planning permission.
The drawing was not approved and contained errors
9 20/12/13
Denial
Mis-
representation
In response to a question about width ;
I have measured this on site and have copied the 1996 plans across to you twice already and I have explained during our meeting that the base and height of the structure are compliant…this is the end of the matter as far as I am concerned. See #8
10 10/01/14
Complaint
Discarded
/Ignored
It is therefore reasonable to conclude that the current structure has not been built to the ‘approved plans’ as provided by Council, ie 1A,1B nor does the drawing of the cladding/door fixing detail match what exists, for example the structure is 3 metres higher and 1 metre wider than shown on 8296/14.
Notified that they are still working on the shed.
Complaint Discarded/Ignored (i.e. binned)
11 13/01/14
Denial
Back Pass
Not logged
This is to become a typical response to the complaint that the shed is nearly 3m taller than permitted:-
The queries that you raise are not new, indeed I have been repeating my response to them for some time now. See 8#
Officer repeats his message of 25th Nov & 20th Dec 2013, about the shed being compliant.
Referred the Council’s Complaints procedure.

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Planning Issues in South Shields