Home > Uncategorized > But . . .

But . . .

I have a planning application on place at the moment with East Lothian Council. When I sorted my mail a few days ago, I found an invoice for £110, in respect of a public notice placed in the local newspaper. On enquiring why this had been necessary, I was told that it had been placed because ownership of land to the north of my property was not clear, and that statute allows such an ad to count as neighbour notification. In fact, the ground in question is owned by my eight immediate neighbours and me. A simple question to me or my agent would have revealed this and five more notification letters would have taken care of the issue and saved me £110. When I put this to the very nice lady at the cooncil, she explained that it is not its policy to ask. When I asked her what recourse I had she advised me, urged me even, to write to the Scottish Government. It seems that there is no desk in the grand and expensive offices of East Lothian Council on which the buck actually stops.

In this day and age it might seem  that the obvious no-cost solution is for such notifications to be placed on the websites of planning authority, but that doesn’t cut it. There can be no obligation on individuals to constantly check council sites on the off-chance that something might be happening that could have an adverse effect on  their property. Equally, there should be no obligation on them to buy and study the woeful rags that  most local newspapers have become, yet the present law seems to indicate that there is. And it seems that it does more, if councils such as mine are using it as an excuse for not making any effort to find out for themselves the answers to the simplest questions.

I’ve paid the bill. I had no choice, or my application would have been rejected. But I’m not letting it lie. Once I’ve posted this rant, I will be forwarding it to my councillor and probably to a few others in the hope of some satisfaction, however unlikely that may be.

Categories: Uncategorized
  1. Fred in Sunny Sydney
    August 3, 2011 at 12:52 pm

    Quintin..why not ask Vlad to drop the council a line……..!!

  2. August 3, 2011 at 2:29 pm

    Nah, he’d sack all the executives and appoint people who spoke only Lithuanian.

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