The Complaint – 5th Condition

It is a breach of condition 5 to use the cover on a Sunday without prior notice and more of a criminal offence rather than a minor misdemeanour which is why the complaint was made on 20-Dec-16:

From: Michael Dawson
Sent: 20 December 2016 15:53
Subject: Re: Sunday Working by UK Docks, River Drive.
Dear Sir or Madam,
This is the second time in a few weeks that they have been working on a Sunday. Please acknowledge this complaint as I wish to take the issue up with the ward Councillor who organised the meeting – see below.
Kind regards,
Michael Dawson

Elegant in its simplicity, and the relevant bit below, was

I was told at a meeting with Mr Cunningham, the Principal Planning Officer, in November 2013, about the Conditions attached original Grant in 1996 (No 5 referred to the working hours) and they had been agreed as 7am to 7pm but not Sundays or Bank holidays.

I did not get a response from the planner now responsible for dealing with UK Docks but from Customer Advocates who appeared to have been misinformed. This, and asking Customer Advocates to respond, was first clue that the Council did not want the incident logged and confirms the view that Condition 5 still stands.
They said over a few emails:

1. Your current email requesting a complaint be logged due to noise and/or breach of working hours conditions has been queried with the relevant service teams.
– there is no mention of noise in the complaint.
2. With regards to the control of general working hours at the site, in respect of planning no restrictions exist.
– they existed in November 2013 and they were written in because of the interests of the amenity of the surrounding area, which includes residential and tourism/leisure related uses.
3. It would be unreasonable to seek to impose a planning condition restricting the working hours of the boat repair business or restricting the types of works associated with boat repairs at this application site, as it is an established boat repair yard.
– an opinion expressed in paragraph 5.61 of the recommendation to the Planning Committee ST/0461/14/FUL (author believed to be the Planning Officer responsible for dealing with UK Docks).
4. I had responded as we currently have contact restrictions in place for you and therefore issues relating to the boat shed will be referred to me initially in order to assess whether the contact relates to your historic complaint on the original boat shed, or new matters. I will then refer any new matters to the relevant teams and had done so for advice on this report regarding the allegation of Sunday working outside agreed hours. I would refer you to the highlighted paragraph below regarding the Sunday working matter which was received from the team.
– the historic complaint is non-compliance with condition 2. Working on a Sunday is a breach of condition 5, a separate issue and still would apply even if the cover had been built with planning permission. Notice also that the complaint was changed to an allegation which is why a date/timed photo was sent in. This effectively changes the allegation back into a complaint.
5. Officers at the Town Hall were correct in advising you that they could not help you further with complaints regarding Sunday working at UK Docks, as this had been dealt with as part of the historic complaint you made to the Council and to which current contact restrictions apply
– Sunday working was not a historic complaint and it was a visit to the Town Hall that established who was misleading Customer Advocacy.

The planning officer responsible for UK Docks had:

  • not registered the complaint – therefore no official record of it exists
  • suggested that the complaint had already been addressed by the Local Government Ombudsman (final draft 15-Apr-2015) – it had not