McCann shoots itself in the foot!

F P McCann’s decision to submit a new planning application just for the new storage area of the disputed site has blown up in their face!

This is part of the expanded site that they have already started developing in breach of planning law. But, instead of seeing this slip through under the radar, they have now been hit by formal objections from the Environment Agency and Internal Drainage Board, worried about pollution and flood risk, and from the County Council who have rubbished the company’s “transport plan”. (The transport plan includes a claim that the site is adequately served by public transport even though the first of the two-hourly buses arrives a couple of hours after they start work!)

The government planning inspector must now take these objections into account when he considers the planning application for the main site. Back in their Northern Ireland base, the McCann family must be kicking themselves that their plan has backfired!

In addition to these responses from what are known as “statutory” consultees, i.e. official bodies that the council must consult, residents have again submitted a swathe of objections latching on to, amongst other things, a new admission that the storage area WILL cause a noise disturbance and that they will not create a single new job on the land allocated for employment.

Taken on its own merits, it seems certain that this application must be refused. How this will play out in the context of the whole site, and the outstanding appeal, is yet to be seen.

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