Shed and Corruption – Part 8: Misusing CA to Misinform

Our protest that UK Docks’ shed built 3m taller than planned was killed off by Ms Hamilton on the 24th November 2014 when she wrote and told me:-
I can confirm that as previously advised, the Council accepts that the structure in question does not have planning permission. My Stage 3 response to you dated 25 September 2014 also explained the reasons for the Council’s Head of Development Services’ decision that it was not expedient to take planning enforcement action with respect to the development.”
I note your intention to approach the Local Government Ombudsman and this is the correct route for you to now follow if you remain dissatisfied with the Council’s handling of this matter.

Ms Hamilton was the author of a letter to me titled ‘Stage 3 Response‘ which:- a) failed to mention the height of the shed, and b) wrote the extra width off as a non-material consideration. I could see the way things were set as Mr Mansbridge had created a new complaint at Stage 2 – 253539, to overwrite the original complaint, 248789 which had been exhausted at Stage 2 by the Planning Manager as explained in a letter to the Chief Executive 7th July 2014.

The Ombudsman, in her first response also failed to mention the height of the shed and said in paragraph 21:- “It decided the degree of departure from the plans – less than one metre – was “non-material”, but a year earlier we had been told by the Head of Development Services in his response to our Petition:- “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.

For some strange reason the compaint  to the South Shields MP got diverted to the MP for Berwick and she was told that our claims were on founded on allegations. *

I say strange because while I had taken up lodgings in Amble the shed was still on River Drive but it did show that South Tyneside Council were content to give misinformation to the Ombudsman so they could quote from the findings to misdirect people. We knew from the responses we were getting from the South Shields MP that they must lying to her but the response given to the MP for Berwick, was the first written evidence that it was being done any MP:-

  The matters and allegations raised by your constituent are well documented and have been subject to a number of enquiries from Mr Dawson and other local residents over a lengthy period of time. The matter was ultimately referred by way of complaint to the Local Government Ombudsman, the outcome of which was delivered on 14 April 2015″
 — Corporate Lead, 25 th June 2015

It was how South Tyneside Council managed to hide the fact that the shed was 3m taller than planned until UK Docks got permission to extend it on February 1st 2016. The primary purpose now appears to be to hide wrongdoing by building control. They had failed to report that UK Docks had not complied with the 2nd Condition:- The development to which this permission relates shall be carried out in complete accordance with the approved plans and specifications.

Second Phase of the Shed’s Development
From: mick.dawson@theharbourview.co.uk
Date: 26/07/2021 (12:59:19 PM GMT)
To: Paula Abbott
Cc: Alison Hoy, Nicola Robason, Emma Lewell-Buck MP, Anne-Marie Trevelyan MP, Cllr Angela Hamilton, David Francis, John Rumney, Garry Simmonette, Peter Cunningham, George Mansbridge
Attachment: toPA26-Jul-21-SandC-8.pdf (179 KB)

Dear Paula,
I hope this email finds you well and please see it’s attachment which should be self-explanatory.
It seems that quite a few staff have been using Customer Advocacy to avoid answering direct questions about the shed and it started with the Planning Manager in March 2015 and lasted till 2018, about the same time as Alison says she sent me a letter dated 18 April 2018.
I never received the letter as your office would (not) have known my Amble address. It was not until April 2019 that I sent a letter to the then Monitoring Officer, Mr Harding with my address in Amble.
He did not answer it, nor was my email to him about it on 19th June 2019, so obviously the restriction imposed by Hayley October 2016 had not been lifted as Alison has suggested and it looks like you have been coerced into reinforcing it.
If you look at the item tagged, 25 June 2020, on your list you will see it was addressed to Cllr Hamilton and copied to Emma Lewell-Buck MP only, i.e. it was not copied to Alison or anyone at the Town Hall so how did it get onto the list?
The only explanation is that Cllr Hamilton must have been asking about the shed and it looks like someone in your office has been telling her that, contrary to the evidence, the shed is kosher and that I was making allegations and not to be trusted.
It is unlikely that Emma was making the enquiries her MP’s inbox has been set (MimecastTM) to reject mick.dawson at theharbourview.co.uk. and I’m almost certain that was done by Mr Buck or one of his pals and it does not take much to work out it was a Keith Palmer.
If you look at the item tagged, 4 February 2021, there is also the possibility that someone from the Chronicle/Journal has been trying to find out the truth behind the shed so I have copied in their editor as well.
As you read through the misdirections you will see that in the early ones it would not be obvious the various officers were giving her (Alison) misinformation/misrepresentation but by the time we get to Cllr Anglin and the shed being extended in August 2017 it is obvious and that is what made me think about coercive control rather than Alison giving you a list of unanswered emails.
Kind regards
​Michael

Continue reading Shed and Corruption – Part 8: Misusing CA to Misinform

The Shed: Approved Height v Built Height

UK Docks were allowed to build, without planning permission by South Tyneside Council (STC), a shelter on their slipway on the banks of the Tyne in South Shields. In spite of protests from the first days, that it was bigger than planned, South Tyneside Council did nothing to halt, apart from a temporary stoppage Sep-Nov 2013, the completion of the shed.

They can do this as there is no requirement for them to tell the building inspector that they have not met the conditions of any planning approval. In the case of UK Docks they knew the structure that they had erected on their slipway off River Drive in the first couple of weeks of September 2013 was going to be taller and wider than the approved plans allowed so they hid the fact that it was wider than planned from the building inspector and sent misleading plans to fraudulently misrepresent the approved height of it, to the Principal Planning Officer.

The Height at River End; permitted = 15.5m; built = 18.2m

When we started protesting that the shed was taller than planned the Principal Planning Officer went and measured it for himself and declared it was compliant:- Mr Dawson – once again – I have measured this on site and have copied the 1996 plans across to you twice already (attached again for your use) and I have explained during our meeting that the base and height of the structure are compliant.

It was not compliant with any approved drawing and what he did not realise was the fact that the gradient between each end of the shed gave scale to any side elevation of the shed and any end elevation that showed the depth of any beams (686mm), similarly gave the scale as well. It also appears that that he was content to ignore the fact that both ends of the drawings he gave out, showed the same total height of 15.5m. Here again, the side elevation will show that the river end is correct.

What UK Docks did not foresee was that while the residents/protestors knew that their shed was taller and wider than planned from the beginning, what was needed was some proof to back up their views, so that they would not be accused of making allegations. The first was drawing 8296/14 and it had been approved by the Planning Manager in October 2013 as part of ST/1146/13/COND and was coupled to their decision to fit an overhead travelling crane.

When South Tyneside Council recovered the 1996 documents there were two authorised drawings and one, 8296/2 provided proof that the Principal Planning Officer was lying when he implied that UK Docks had approval for a shed of 15.5m height at its landward end. Some in the planning office agreed with the protestors and that was why work on the shed stopped for nearly three months. It was also proof that UK Docks were in breach of the permitted height after the first frames were erected and probably why there was never a response made to the original complaint made on behalf of the residents by me.

I explained to the MP for Berwick and the Chief Executive, Mr Swales why it was unreasonable to claim that the shed had been built to the approved height but the Corporate Lead, Hayley Johnson thought otherwise and because there was no evidence to back her view she had to accuse us of making alegations.

The two approved drawings show that the shed is 2.7m taller than planned and it was therefore her, who was lying about the height of the shed, when she told the MP for Berwick on the 25th June 2015:- “The matters and allegations raised by your constituent are well documented and have been subject to a number of enquiries from Mr Dawson and other local residents over a lengthy period of time.

The Width; permitted = 12.2m; built = 13.1m

Drawing 8296/14 also shows the width to be 12.2m and that agreed with the width shown on the drawings favoured by UK Docks (8696/1B) and the Principal Planning Officer (8296/1A). When measured, he found it to be 13.1m, which we learnt in response to our Petition, was considered a material consideration from, no lesser person than, the Head of Development Services:- 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.

By the time it got to the Ombudsman it had become:- It decided the degree of departure from the plans – less than one metre – was “non-material.” 

The inspector was easily persuaded that the shed was the permitted width and the extra set of mounting points 5.5m in front of the landward end of the five put to use when the framework for the shed was erected in September 2013, could easily be hidden under a pallet or box, if there were any visitors to the yard, until they they were needed later.

That they were needed later, to lengthen the shed, was confirmed when they were given permission to extend it onto them in February 2016 under ST/0461/14/FUL.

The Length; permitted = 22m, built = 27.5m

Footings 2010 – Six Pairs

As well as easily persuading the building inspector that the shed was the permitted width UK Docks had also hidden the fact that they had planned for a longer shed in 2001 when the footings were originally laid. The extra set of mounting points 5.5m in front of the landward end of the five put to use when the framework for the shed was erected in September 2013, could easily be hidden from view, under a pallet for example, while there were visitors to the yard, and put to use when they were needed later.

That they were needed later was confirmed when they were given permission to extend the shed onto them in February 2016 under ST/0461/14/FUL. The people on the committee, were either not told, or were told but ignored the fact, that the shed was taller than permitted and gave UK Docks permission to extend it onto the footings laid in 2001.

I concluded in letter to a former neighbour, Part 1 of Shed and Corruption:- When they heard we were trying to resurrect the dormant TGA they spotted a weak spot and Cllrs Anglin and McMillan went into action but what they and Messrs Watson and Haig did not realise was that there was a fatal flaw in their scheme. Mr Cunningham had to either to admit we were right about the shed or commit fraud.

For those that are new to the sorry story about the shed and corruption, the Principal Planning Officer, Mr Cunningham chose the latter and he did that by attempting to pass off drawing, 8296/1A, one that had not been approved because it contained an error, as one that had been approved.

Besides 1A showing both ends to have the same height it bears no evidence of having been anywhere near the Tyne and Wear Development Corporation and is very obviously the copy sent to South Tyneside MBC in April 1996 for comment before the development went before the Development Corporation for approval in July. One wonders why they never sent out an amended copy but it did not matter as 8296/2 was approved and showed that the landward end should be about 12.8m not the 15.5m as claimed by the STC Planning Officers and their Managers.

I have describe how the truth about the shed, was and still is, avoided in Shed and Corruption – Part 9 which takes us up to April 2022 and concludes with:- As I said to her in Part 4 of Shed and Corruption, see page 2, there has only been one complaint to the Chief Executive that his staff have been misleading the Ombudsman and that does not relate to persistent and unreasonable behaviour by anyone’s standards. Especially when it can be easily shown that someone has been giving misinformation/misrepresentation to them.

It was not one of the local residents nor Mr X.

Review of the Shed and Corruption Series

Redhead’s Landing, Templetown, South Shields

On May 7th 2013 South Tyneside Council (STC) gave the slipway known as Readheads Landing to the Port of Tyne because they could, and that spelled the death knell of the right of way to it. That was also given the Port of Tyne but it left the Council and the Port of Tyne the problem of finding the business using the slipway adjacent to the former landing a new home. It left Tyne Slipway and Engineering and its owner, as the only obstacle to the closure of Tyne Dock, in a very powerful position because they had to find a new home on the Tyne and there was only one viable option.
That home was Tyne Slipways ltd. and owned by the same family and occasionally used for servicing the Shields Ferries and the some of the North Sea fishing fleet. They had a maintenance contract with the Port of Tyne for their Pilot Boats, with Nexus for the maintenance of their Ferries and a contract with a the Ministry of Defence for the maintenance of their Border Patrol Vessels.

Loss of English Coastal Path

The gift of right of way to the Port of Tyne was not lost on some in the planning office of STC and was simply because Rights of Way are not a planning matter. Bridle and coastal paths etc. are no different and the planning officer who was later in charge of the development of the UtilityWise Center into riverside accommodation on Long Row, South Shields, gave part of the English Coastal Path to its developer. The riverside footpath then became became riverside gardens for the people residing on the ground floor of the two blocks of flats. The contact for the development of the redundant car park downstream, was by 2021 was the same officer who had given Readheads Landing to the Port of Tyne, Mr Peter Cunningham.

71 and 72 Greens place, South Shields

Here is a modified extract from Shed and Corruption – Part 2 (pages 2 and 3).

It started with a Planning Officer and her misapplication of the planning guidelines, SPD9 which were ignored.
72 – I was told by the building inspector, Mr Telford that the single dormer that occupied nearly the whole of the roof width of 72 was not a material consideration but discovered later that was just an opinion. Mr Telford was applying different standards to No 72 to those being applied to No 70.
If anyone had bothered to check, the Listing of No 70 was specific to the frontage and the door in particular, not to any materials used for modifications to the back. I should have questioned the addition of conditions 3 & 4 but as the planning section’s grudge against the previous owners of No 70 was well known and still hung over the place, I just paid the extra for the bricks, which the builder went to some trouble to match. We both agreed that if they tried to enforce metal gutters they would be open to ridicule!
71- When I mentioned that Mr Haig had not even followed the permitted plans, the Ombudsman had said that as I had not taken the complaint thought the Council’s Complaints Procedure (CCP), she was not able to consider it. This was the first indication that the Council and LGO were working in unison to stifle complaints.

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I had noticed as I progressed through the CCP the justification for my complaint against the demolition and rebuild of 71 Greens Place had disappeared. Primarily the planning officer in charge of the development had not followed the guidelines outlined in SPD9. The other setback was that Mr Haig had lied to his solicitor when he said that a party wall agreement was in place and I had to force him into one. It turned out to be a waste of time and money as it was never honoured and in this, he required the assistance of the building inspector, Mr Telford.
I did take the Ombudsman’s Inspectors advice and that led to Mr Haig having to put in an application for permission for his two roof gardens to be granted retrospectively. It was a little short on detail although the agent did mention construction of various patio walls (there were two walls that ran along side the yard of 70 Greens Place under consideration, one on each of the first and second floors).
This was pointed out in response to the Planning Manager’s view and note that ST/0749/13/FUL had referred to retrospective content and it did not, four months later. The Planning Manager had written ‘retrospective’ out of consideration and the revised job passed to a planning officer and acknowledged on the 12th November.
I mention all this because what had started life as an application for retrospective planning permission had by the time the Planning Manager, Mr Atkinson given it approval on the 5th December 2013, had become one which bore no reference to any retrospective planning application.
It had become ST/0749/13/HFUL and its predecessor, ST/0749/13/FUL, had completely disappeared. Since there is no way the Council will allow ST/0749/13/FUL to be recovered there is very little I can do about 71 Greens Place, its first floor patio garden to the rear and its roof top balcony to the front, except to say that if one wants to view some examples of the of the corruption endemic in the Town Hall in South Shields, just take a stroll down Greens Place or its back lane.
The development of 71 Greens Place started with a Planning Officer’s misapplication of the Guidelines in SPD9, which led to Inspector for the LGO being fed misinformation and continuing with the owner Mr Haig who ensured that the Party Wall Agreement would fail so that he could build a longer and or taller walls on our shared boundary.

When someone had recognised the fact a retrospective application would have to be made and raised ST/0749/13/FUL this did not suit Mr Haig, the planning officer involved nor her manager, Mr Atkinson. Nor did it suit the building inspector, Mr Telford and so ST/0749/13/FUL was deleted and replaced with ST/0749/13/HFUL.

72 Greens Place: the two separate dormers had been drawn so large that the gap between them was not wide enough to allow inner sides to be safely clad. There is now one very large dormer filling about 90% of the roof.

Both Messrs Haig and Watson had built an extra story onto each mid terrace properties by ‘bending the rules’ and they got away with it for a mixture of reasons, Mr Watson’s development was fairly discrete and Mr Haig by persuading South Tyneside Council to withdraw the requirement for the redevelopment of No. 71 to be looked at retrospectively.

A better and much more visible example of this sort of corruption, is UK Docks’ shed a little way downstream and easily viewed by the Haigs from their rooftop balcony. This is important to bear in mind because UK Docks should have applied for permission to build the shed we see today sometime between 2001 and 2013. Retrospectively; a) because the foundations had been laid a meter wider and 5.5m longer than planned b) it needed to be taller than planned.

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