We call for a meeting with ECDC
We have today written to Operations Director at ECDC to raise concerns about the handling of this planning application. The purpose of the meeting is not to discuss the planning application itself but to highlight the numerous examples that suggest that the application has been pre-judged and the handling of the application has been biased.
Amongst the concerns to be raised are the fact that one arm of the council had signed an agreement to support FP McCann's expansion even before the planning application was submitted. The planning officer's report to the planning committee not only contained errors (as confirmed by the High Court) but was also lacking in balance. A whole raft of planning policies were "trumped" by the dubious and unproven claims about job creation (see separate blog post). Subsequent claims and reports submitted by FP McCann have been taken at face value with no scrutiny.
Now, a screening report has been published by the council which includes two pages of praise for the pre-cast concrete industry. This report, which should be independent, only uses information submitted by McCann and teats this information as fact. But these reports are highly dubious and, as a result, the screening report is full or errors of fact, misleading statements and glaring omissions.
We think ECDC have used a consultant to liaise with FP McCann to produce the report so that they can avoid the conclusion that an environmental assessment is required. We seek the high level meeting to implore that application is simply considered on its merits in a balanced and transparent way.