Cllr A: Dear Angela-2

This is a continuation of the email I sent you Friday 12th. There was to be a third ‘and more’ but as you can see from my email to the last known secretary of the Tyne Gateway Assn (TGA) it was getting complicated and even then I missed a vital piece of information. Item 3, of the minutes 15-Nov-13.

Confirmation has been received from Planning Department that height of structure is 15.5m measured from point above foundations to road landward side.

It was measured on 17-Sep-13 but notice that there is no mention of the width. A careless omission don’t you think? It was because they would not tell us how wide it was that I had to go and measure for myself a day or so after the meeting (25-Nov-13) and informed all who attended the meeting about it in my email to Cllr Anglin, 16-Dec-13.

We were told at that meeting that the shed was compliant or, as the Planning Manager said, 15-Jan-14, in accordance with the measurements shown on the approved drawings. The drawings, approved or not, give the width as 12.2m. I measured it as 13.2m and we eventually found out (28-Jan-14; four months after they measured it!) that it was actually 13.1m.

This completely conflicts with what they told the Ombudsman:

21. The Council considered if the building accorded with the approved plans. The planning officer originally assigned the case considered the developers were building the boat shed to the measurements in the 1996 plans. Mr X says he told residents this at a public meeting. The Council accepts these measurements were wrong.

22. A more senior officer checked the measurements; he found the width at ground level was just less than one metre wider than the permission allowed. 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.

The Council were using the Ombudsman to rewrite history to get both the Principal Planning Officer and the Planning Manager off the hook. They plainly denied the extra width because they did not want to take enforcement action and that involves the Law.

The height issue would have been resolved at the same time, September 2013, and I would not be needing to trawl through five years of correspondence to tell you that I was extremely annoyed at my views being portrayed as the same as those of Messrs Haig and Watson. TGA Committee minutes of the 25th November:

GW advised that it was a good open meeting, it was confirmed that the structure is being built to the plans which had been approved.

KH advised that they had seen the plans which were date stamped 1996, the structure is 15.5m. Proper drawings were on file and there is nothing illegal about the structure.

The italics are mine and the only authorised, date stamped drawing from 1996, 8296/2, with dimensions, shows the road end to be 12.7m high not 15.5m.

It looked to me like the meeting was used up to cover up the the fact that they knew it was too wide in September and probably too high as well. If we could work it out with limited information I’m sure they could. They had even recovered an authorised copy of 8296/2 which unlike the copy given to us showed the height of the road end as 12.7m.

The point I’m trying to make is that they not only use the Ombudsman to cover up maladministration, they use the Ombudsman to try and rewrite history. In recent correspondence we have shared it looks as if someone is suggesting I’m using you to rewrite history when they commented, “Angela will be more than happy to help where she can, but even Angela can’t change the past. Only possibly help with the present.”

If it is the Council pushing this view it is, to put it bluntly, hypocritical. If it’s UK Docks pushing it, it smacks of something worse. I’ve let a week go by to let the secretary of the TGA respond, not that I expected any because I think her minutes reflect what really happened and that was why I was more than happy to use them though I doubt the Council are.

I’ll keep you, Emma and all informed about my progress as it looks like the Council have at last decided to correspond with us about the cloud of deceit surrounding UK Docks but it looks like they are continuing to be awkward as they use Egress software to encode it.

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One Response to Cllr A: Dear Angela-2

  1. Mick says:

    Messrs Haig and Watson were Treasurer and Chairman of the Tyne Gateway Association and were also Director and Procurement Officer of HB Hydraulics. They served the ship repair yards on the Tyne so clearly had a conflict of interest which went undeclared.

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