To Councillor 27-Feb-19

—————————- Original Message —————————-
Subject: Re: UK Docks / Harbour View Residents Concerns
Date: Wed, February 27, 2019 11:17 am
To: “Cllr Angela Hamilton”
Cc: “Mick Dawson”
“Emma Lewell-Buck”

“Planned Height of Shed”

Dear Angela,
Sorry about the quality of the attached print. It gives the authorised height of the shed which is not what UK Docks told the Council. The heights are clearer on the full sized print: the roof 108.8 meters above the datum and the footings are 96.1 meters above it making 12.7 meters altogether.
The first part of the shed is 15.5 meters tall at that point which is nearly 3 meters taller than permitted and the reason the shed it is still there is because UK Docks sent in documents to support the fraud that the shed has been built to an approved height.
Please confront them with the truth about their shed and see what they say. I and everybody else on my mailing list would dearly love to know.
If they show you 8296/1A or 1B claiming an approved height just point out that they show the river end as 15.5m as well. The river end is nearly 3 meters downhill and the roof does not slope down towards the river.
Good luck, I hope you fare better than when Emma went to see them in March 2017. Incidentally the containers did not get placed on top of each other until August of that year.
Kind regards,

Hi Mick

Just wanted to let you know that Emma Lewell-Buck and I are meeting with UK Docks at the end of this week.
I will provide an update on any progress after the meeting. Regards

Councillor Angela Hamilton LLB (Hons), MCIPR
Beacon and Bents Ward
South Tyneside Council

On Thu, Feb 21, 2019 at 1:01 PM +0000, “Mick Dawson” wrote:

Dear David,

I wish you luck with your enquiries but you are wasting your time asking Cllr Anglin to do anything about UK Docks. He sided with them years ago when I wrote and told him that the shed was too wide. When he wrote back he just repeated the lie that “it was built to approved plans” but what he did not know was the planning officer concerned was also hiding the fact that it was too tall behind that statement as well.

I think Cllr Anglin soon found this out but by then he was stuck with being one of UK Docks promoters and by the subsequent actions of the planning officer and his boss, so are the rest of the Council, and you can see that from my current feud with one of the Council’s Solicitors.

When I say the rest of the Council I include Cllr McMillan. Like Cllr Anglin she hides behind the wall of obfuscation erected to protect the Council officers who allowed the shed to be built at all. Cllr Hamilton must be excluded from ‘the rest of the Council’ as she like us, is stuck on the outside of the wall of silence.

By the way I have no objection to UK Docks placing their Headquarters on the site. It is the shipyard that I object to.

I’ve included Stuart Wright in the mailing as I believe he is in charge of planning. When permission was granted for the shed a restriction was placed on the working hours because of the location of the site and that is a planning issue which has not been resolved whatever Cllr Anglin tells you.

Kind regards
Michael Dawson

From: David Francis
Sent: 21 February 2019 09:24
Subject: Re: UK Docks / Harbour View Residents Concerns


Following my emails on the 4th Feb and then the 12th Feb, I just wondered where we are with all of this? A number of local residents are seeking clarification.

Many thanks,

LGO Findings paras 30-38

or how the inspector was misled.

PDF copy for download.

The width is dealt with in paragraphs 19-23.

The error – for 12.5m read 9.8m.

30. Mr X says the shed is also 3 metres higher than shown in the 1996 plans. He says a scale measurement from the plans shows a total height of 12.75 metres at one end of the shed. this is true and for confirmation see 8296/2 which gives an authorised height of 12.7m.

31. I have discussed this with a senior planning officer. The Council accepts that using a scale measurement against the 1996 drawings would not give a measurement of 15.5 metres. It says this plan has several drawings using different scales and some are foreshortened; possibly to fit on the paper. It says these are likely to be engineer’s drawings. – not 15.5m but 12.8m, some 2.7 meters less (9.8m + 3m). The last two points are irrelevant  and perhaps intended to mislead.  

32. It is too long ago for the Ombudsman to consider a complaint about the accuracy of the drawings accepted by the Development Corporation in 1996. – an error on a drawing is not likely to disappear with age!

33. In response to a draft of my decision Mr X says the 15.5 metres height relates to the river end. He considers the land end should be 2.6 metres lower. He says the Council cannot prove 15.5 metres relates to the land end not the river end. I do not agree.
– drawing 8296/1A also gives the river end as 15.5m and a stepwise approach leads to the conclusion that the road end dimension is in error and should be shorter by 2.7m. The Council’s reasoning, that the river end is 18.2m cannot be supported if one looks carefully at the drawing. (for real proof one must look to another drawing and both the approved drawings ../2 and ../14 both contradict the Council’s assessment and invalidate #34 and #35 below).

34. I have seen the 1996 plans. On plan 1/B* the applicant has written the proposed elevations at the inland end as 12.5 metres plus 3 metres. Mr X says the Council should not have taken the applicant’s word for this. The planning authority has to consider what an applicant applies for; it can grant or refuse this but it cannot make an applicant submit something different. This developer applied for a shed 15.5 metres high at the land end. The Tyne and Wear Development Corporation as planning authority approved this. The current Council had to accept this as the approved height.

Authorisation stamp of the T&WDC – 8296/2 in the Council’s possession.

-see #30 or 33. 1B and 1A are interchangeable, both show the same error and neither have been authorised, contrary to what the senior planning officer has told the Local Government Ombudsman.

* there is no indication on this drawing that it has ever been to the Tyne and Wear Development Corporation.

35. In January 2014 the Council wrote to Mr X about this. It said the overall structure on the plans is 15.5 metres at the land end and the foundations are 2.656 metres lower at the river end due to the gradient. It said the agreed structure is much higher at the river end. It said it had taken measurements on site and the shed as built matches these measurements. Since then the Council has consistently told Mr X the shed is the correct height. – the wrong height, see #30 or #33.

36. I have seen the report written for the planning committee by officers of the Development Corporation in 1996. The report says the height is 15.5 metres. Mr X says it does not specify which end is 15.5 metres. The report says “the design, height and location of the proposed shelter can be seen in the display material which will be presented at the meeting”. The planning committee also had the plans to refer to. From this it is clear the Development Corporation knew the proposed height was 15.5 metres at the inland end and gave permission for this. – rubbish, neither Adele nor myself were at the meeting but 8296/2 was approved later and thus the proposed height of 15.5m must be the river end.

37. Mr X says plan 14 shows 15.5 metres as the river end height. The Council has explained to Mr X why this is not the case. The developers submitted plan 14 in 2013 as part of their application to discharge condition 4. The Development Corporation did not approve plan 14 in 1996 and it is not a plan subject to condition 2. It shows how the developers intend to attach the end panels. One drawing shows an end with the panels in place to provide an impression of the final appearance. The drafter has not specified which end this is and the drawings are not to scale.– the drafter said that portal covers should be drawn aside to admit boats and they come up the slipway from the river!
Both drawings 8296/13 &14 are to scale!

38. The Council has provided a consistent and sound justification for its view the shed as built is the same height as that granted permission. The Ombudsman cannot criticise the Council’s view.  – but I can, and have. Only one paragraph, No. 30, out of the nine, escapes just criticism.

I have shown none of the others was sound because one of the two authorised drawings from 1996 shows a planned height of 12.7 at the same point as the shed was found to be 15.5m. The only consistency is in their refusal to admit that the shed is nearly 3m taller than planned. The drawing I have used since 2014 was approved by the council in 2013 and is confirmation that no approved amendments to the height were made in the intervening 17years.

LGO Findings paras 19-23

The complaint to the LGO was very simple: the Case officer said the cover was compliant when it was not. It was built nearly a meter too wide and 3m too tall – see LGO Findings paras 30-38 about the height.

Even the Council admitted in their response to our Petition that the variation in width was material:- Apart from the width these dimensions are either entirely in accordance with the approved plan, or subject to such minor deviation that they are properly categorised as non-material changes.*

Head of Development Services,
Mr George Mansbridge,
2nd May 2014

The Ombudsman agrees in Paragraph 22:- The Council decided the developer had not built the shed entirely in accordance with the approved plans and so had not met condition 2. The Council decided this was a breach of planning control.
However she had changed her mind by paragraph 23 of her findings:- The Council decided the degree of departure from the plans – less than one metre – was “non-material.”

In the end a Senior Planning Officer persuades the Ombudsman to go for the second option in her summary:- However, the developer built it almost a metre wider than he should have done. There is no evidence of fault in the way the Council dealt with the breach of planning control and its decision not to take enforcement action.

Decision, 15-Apr-15

They have given misinformation/misrepresentation to the Local Government Ombudsman according to Peter Dunn and Co., Solicitors, 26-Jan-16 but the Council’s Corporate Lead, Mrs Johnson, denies this:-

  1. There is no evidence to suggest that there has been deliberate misinformation provided by Council officers to the Local Government Ombudsman, – 1-Aug-16
  2. I can again advise that there is no evidence to suggest that there has been deliberate misinformation provided by Council officers to the Local Government Ombudsman. – 5-Oct-16

Note the use of ‘deliberate’. Misinformation is by its nature deliberate and one can tell the Ombudsman is struggling with the conflicting views and misinformation given her on page 2. One should have little or no regard for the Senior Planner who misinformed the Ombudsman nor the member of the Council who advised the Corporate Lead:- see examination of both points on page 3.

* he was a little economical with the truth when he said apart from the width because the shed was 2.7m taller than planned.

All the Emails

The Council’s Solicitor in an email to Egress of 12-Dec-18 (decoded 14-Dec-18) provided a list of emails that I had written giving some background to my complaint about Councillor Anglin. She said “I refer to your emails dated 19 September, 1, 12, 15, 22 (x2), and 26 October, 14, 20 and 22 November, and 11 December 2018 concerning your complaint about Councillor John Anglin.”

She then did not consider any of the points made in any of them apart from the misrepresentations given to the Ombudsman by the Council. Continue reading All the Emails

Cllr A: The Wrong End

In the Planning Manager’s reply to my email of 24th Jan 2014 I felt that the Planning Office were ‘Stone Walling’ again by trying to sideline me into the complaints system instead of replying to my enquiries. The Principal Planning Officer had refused to admit that the cover had not been built to plan and it was beginning to look like the Planning Manager was going to try the same thing with the height alone. He has conceded is built about 1m too wide but has not conceded that it is also 3m too high. With help from someone used to advising insurance cases I tried a new approach by combining the reply, notice the PROTECT appearing again,  and wrote:-

NB: the north end is the river end of the shed. Continue reading Cllr A: The Wrong End