Planning law is important. (Note: important, not necessarily exciting -Ed). It’s one of those areas that local government still retains the lion’s share of control over, and where residents can actually have a say over the development of their community.
I would suggest that even UKIP wouldn’t deny its importance. They have set themselves the task of defending the greenbelt from development, which as UKIP aims go is fairly reasonable. Presumably the way they mean to do this is via planning law.
But to listen to UKIP Parliamentary candidate for Rochford & Southend East, and councillor for Blenheim Park ward, Floyd Waterworth you would think that UKIP were opposed to the enforcement of planning law altogether. Not to mention, he’s incredibly rude about the very voters whose favour his position is dependent on.
I wonder what voters would make of that…
Development Control is the name the Southend Borough Council’s planning committee goes by, and Cllr Waterworth sits on it. At Wednesday’s meeting, he reportedly railed against the enforcement of planning law against a property which had added high level decking and a pergola without planning consent to an extension.
Cllr Waterworth apparently called neighbour who complained at this extension “nosy” and “a complainer”. Which is an odd attitude to take to a resident and voter in the borough.
When a planning application is made, it is open to neighbours of the property to file objections if they want to, which are weighed by Development Control in the initial decision of whether to grant permission. And permission is granted on specificity, with conditions written in. If the consent does not include high decking and a pagola, then you cannot legally add it.
Aside from the general principle that the law is the law, regardless of who you are, I am astounded at the rudeness displayed by Cllr Waterworth. He was offered, by Cllr Margaret Borton, the opportunity to retract his comments, but declined to.
So is this what Cllr Waterworth thinks of the ordinary people of Southend? Is that what UKIP thinks of them?
This isn’t, actually, the first instance of which I have been told, of Cllr Waterworth being belligerent at Development Control. Ironically, this was over the self-same issue; the enforcement of planning law.
So if you have a problem with a breach of planning law by your neighbour, then clearly Cllr Waterworth and UKIP aren’t interested. You are nosy. You are a complainer. Tough luck if you live in Blenheim Park, I guess, and yet another reason not to vote UKIP in May.