Freedom of Information Request

Dear Nicola,

Please see the Freedom of Information (FOI) request, below. I managed to establish that no retrospective planning application for the shed had been made and I just need you to confirm it. As Monitoring Officer you should be able to do that without any bother. It is a binary choice: Has retrospective planning for the shed been granted: Yes/No.
I have asked your predecessor, Mike Harding, the same question in a different way but he has not answered:

“Angela and therefore Julie have been misinformed by UK Docks and you can confirm that also. To it bluntly, whoever told them that UK Docks had submitted a retrospective application was lying.”

We, the local residents, all know that UK Docks never made a request for retrospective planning else we would have had notice of it and we had not. We also knew that the shed had been built nearly 3m taller than permitted before the 5th frame went up but the Council said otherwise and misinformed the Ombudsman about it. The reason for this is now known: firstly to hide misconduct and the second to deflect enquiries and they had been doing that for 5 years.
I can foresee that the Council/UK Docks will try the same trick with ‘retrospective planning’ and this needs to be nipped in the bud hence my FOI and the ‘Dear Nicola’ letter which I have also attached.

Kind regards
Michael

5-Dec-19

Dear Nicola,

Freedom of Information Request

I have been advised that you are now the Monitoring Officer for South Tyneside Council having taken over from Mike Harding and I hope you will give the problem of UK Docks Enclosure (shed) on River Drive some consideration. It was built without planning permission but the Council did nothing about it, the excuse being that they said it had been approved.
Earlier this year UK Docks claimed that the Council gave them permission retrospectively for shed on their slipway:

“Hi Mick, I appreciate your arguments, but this far down the line there is nothing we can do. Angela has talked to several relevant people, and the point is the council gave retrospective planning. Which they are allowed to do.”

Resident of Harbour View, 1-May-19.

Angela is a Councillor and I do not believe what they told her was true because an application to extend it was submitted a few days after its completion:

Building Control Team has confirmed that they sent the completion certificate out on June 17th. The final Building Control inspection was on 13th June.

Principal Planning Officer, 4-Sep-14

The application was submitted on 20th June 2014, and that included extending the shed, a week after Building Control inspected the structure, the implication being that it was not in breach of any of the conditions laid down in the original grant.
It was in breach of planning control being nearly 3m too tall and a meter wider than planned and Building Control had turned a blind eye to this fact when they issued the completion certificate.
I maintain that UK Docks never applied for retrospective planning permission for the shed because an enforcement notice had never been issued and you can confirm for me that neither the application nor the grant exist.
A very simple request made under the Freedom of Information Act.
I and quite a few others would appreciate a response and I will supply a full address if you wish to reply in writing.
Yours sincerely
Michael Dawson

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