8296/14 – Misrepresentations

UK Docks have built a slipway cover on their slipway on River Drive 2.7m taller than planned. They have been allowed to do this because South Tyneside Council say that it is not taller than planned. They base this misrepresentation about the height on unauthorised drawings but if one examines the only authorised drawing from 1996 with a dimensions then one can see that it is more of a deception than a misrepresentation.
I have used the drawing, 8296/14, provided by the agents, Maughan Reynolds Partnership Ltd because it was drawn in August 2013 and would have included any authorised amendments made since the approval given in 1996 and when work was restarted on the shed (cover or enclosure) in September 2013  .

Drawing submitted to STC Panning 10-Jan-2014 and the Local Government Ombudsman March 2015

The Misrepresentations

The initial responses to the observation that the shed was too high, 10-Jan-14 was to deny it:

  1. Principal Planning Officer, 13-Jan-14: “I have been repeating my response to them for some time now, and you will recall that I explained the planning aspect of the Council’s position to you regarding this development during our meeting.” – 25-Nov-13 where he told us the shed was compliant with respect to height and base.
  2. The Planning Manager, 15-Jan-14: “The dimensions of the steelwork have been checked on site and they are in accordance with the measurements shown on the approved drawings.”

That the shed is compliant or in accord with the measurements made on  17-Sep-13, is a major misrepresentation about both the height and the width.

Here are some more specifically about the height from the Planning Manager:

  • the river gable end refers to the landward end, email 28-Jan-2014 – he is ignoring a note on the drawing saying there are strips to draw back to each side to allow access for boats – both Mr Atkinson and I know that the boats come up the slipway from the river;
  • the gable end is not to scale, email 13-Feb-2014, – he was told the planned height and width of the northern or river gable end was 15.6m x 12.2m by me. I used a detail of a beam or portal column to give scale to the drawing, email 10-Jan-2014 – both he and I know that he approved this drawing in October 2013.
  • there is to be the opening on each of the gable ends, email 13-Feb-2014, – (he had been asked why he said that the gable end on 8296/14 referred to the landward end) there is no opening on the landward gable end.

Generally these misrepresentations about the height which had been repeated in various forms throughout my progress through the complaints system, were eventually to the Ombudsman in a package of misinformation presented to them by a Senior Planning Officer.

We are back to where we were in January 2014 when the Planning Manager seeded many of the items of misinformation/misrepresentation given to the Inspector.

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