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Pirton, Local Interest Pirton’s independent website, serving Pirton since 1999

Email Circulation List (Planning)

If you would like to join the email circulation list, which, barring accidents, is always sent by ‘blind copy’ e-mail i.e. others should not see your address.  Join the list.  Other information emailed via this circulation list includes the events and news etc.  Read on for policy information etc.:

The Website's Policy in Respect of the Email Circulation List

The purpose of the emailing list (Planning) is to inform people of the planning applications presented to the planning authority (North Herts District Council) and therefore allow people to be aware of what is being proposed and provide the opportunity to comment to the planning authority - supporting or objecting.  To that end the established policy is given below, further background to how the policy came about is also given:

Policy

Any comments given in respect of a planning application are intended to highlight further details of the site in order to help people identify the location or assess the potential impact by highlighting some of the potential issues.  It is not intended to influence your decision or to represent a particular view.  In all cases you should seek more detailed information (usually available for the planners, NHDC website direct, via this email or via the Pirton website) and in all cases you should consider the issues raised, other issues, advantages and disadvantages AND MAKE UP YOUR OWN MIND!  Remember if you feel strongly you can, and should, support or object to the planning authority.

Background

During early 2005 there was a reasonably controversial application, to which I added some comments.  I received 2 or 3 replies which questioned whether I should be doing that.  My intention was to highlight what I thought the issues were, in order to allow people to consider them.  I hadn’t intended to force my views on others, just highlight particular issues that people might want to consider.

I thought I should check to see if I had over-stepped the mark and also to check what people wanted from the service.

I asked people on the email circulation list to vote for one of the following:

  1. Would you prefer to receive the planning emails with no comments whatsoever attached?
  2. Restrict comments to those that add information, e.g. make the location clearer? Or
  3. Are you happy for comments to be added that might make people aware of some of the wider issues or that perhaps express concerns that have been made to me by residents, so that you can give them some thought and make up your own mind?

The email list at that time consisted of about 110 names which, very approximately, covers about 25% of the households in Pirton.  I was pleased with the number that responded, about 37%, which I have taken as a reasonable response.  I have included a cross section of the comments received towards the bottom of the page.

The votes came out at

The gist of those commenting seemed to be “add comments, but if they didn't agree they were perfectly capable of making up their own minds”, which seems to be a pretty healthy attitude to me.  A selection of comments received are given below

The vote was overwhelmingly for 3, however I would like the service to be seen as reasonable and hopefully impartial even it were to directly affect me, so I will instigate a few changes, whilst erring towards option 3.  To support people’s views and the above policy:

Note 1 - Providing the comments are sensible, reasonable, not defamatory and I have the permission of the person making the comments, however I reserve the right to edit the comments if necessary and to add further comments (mine or other peoples) if I feel that helps provide a more balanced response.

Note 2 - Any comments appearing in respect of a planning application are intended to highlight further details of the site in order to help people identify the location or assess the potential impact by highlighting some of the potential issues.  It is not intended to influence your decision or to represent a particular view.  In all cases you should seek more detailed information (usually available for the planners, NHDC website direct, via this email or via the Pirton website).  In all cases you should consider the issues raised, other issues, advantages and disadvantages AND MAKE UP YOUR OWN MIND!  Remember if you feel strongly you can, and should support or object to the planning authority.

I have considered some sort of chat room or discussion forum on the website, which was suggested, and I will keep an open mind on this, but it could be an administration headache, given the potential vociferous nature of the discussion, the need to ensure that people who are both pro and con are aware of it and the fact that most discussion would end up taking place after the application has been considered!

In short make up your own minds what is good for the village, but do give it some thought and do let the planning authority know your views.

Note 3 (Added 2016) - The position that the website, and its associated correspondence adopts on planning matters is to reflect and represent what I believe to be, or know to be, the community's view, which is not necessarily my own.  Therefore, the position the website (and I) take is to support the Neighbourhood Plan and reflect its content and the extensive community consultation which has been undertaken.  That means it is pro-development that meets the aspirations of the community and its view of what is sustainable development.  That of course does not mean that is supports all development proposals.  

Jonty Wild

Cross representative section of comments received:

General:


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