Eligibility to speak at Development Control Meeting

Simon Barton made this Rhyddid Gwybodaeth request to Broxtowe Borough Council

This request has been closed to new correspondence from the public body. Contact us if you think it ought be re-opened.

Roedd y cais yn rhannol lwyddiannus.

Dear Broxtowe Borough Council,

Please see directly below a copy of an email sent by me to Mr Philip Horsfield (Broxtowe Borough Council Head of Legal Service) concerning a Complaint, currently at Stage 2 of your Council’s Complaints Procedure, regarding a planning permission granted on the 10th of October 2012 (12/00236/FUL)

As now nearly two weeks have passed and I am unable to locate a reply I believe I have no obvious alternative but to patiently repeat the email in the form of a Freedom of Information Act Request. This original email is shown here:

Dear Mr Horsfield,

I have been reflecting upon what complainants have been told by you and from other sources about Ms Dempsey's status as 'Susan (sic) Dempsey Associates' in relation to the Development Control meeting, and Planning Application, for 19 Hallams Lane, Chilwell.

I am afraid I cannot at all reconcile the information I have, with Broxtowe Council's Constitution.

Can you please clear up for me and others whether you are indeed claiming she had any entitlement to speak at Development Control, and if you believe that she did, where, precisely in your Constitution she is granted that entitlement, which I cannot find? You seem to be quite clear that she was not an employee of the Council.

My reading of one section in particular gives me the overriding impression that far from being entitled, she was in all probability indeed forbidden from speaking. What in your opinion is the truth of the matter?

I think that it would be sensible to know your and the Council's position before, if necessary, this matter arrives on the Ombudsman's desk.

Whilst writing, may I chase up the Freedom of Information request I have made for information on contacts of all nature between your Planning Service and enquirers about the 19 Hallams Lane site, which I believe to be now overdue. I apologise in advance if I am mistaken on my timings, but look forward to hearing from soon in any event.

Yours sincerely,

Simon Barton
5a The Close Chilwell Notts

I am taking the opportunity with this FOI Act request of elaborating further and to ask more specific questions than have so far remained unanswered.

Please see the excerpts taken from Broxtowe Borough Council’s ‘Payments to Suppliers 2012 – 2013’, which is available on Broxtowe’s website here:

Broxtowe Borough Council http://statistics.data.gov.uk/id/local-a... Planning PLAN Planning PLAN Planning / Planning Administration Consultancy Fees 3603 Other Supplies & Services OtherSS 11/01/2013 V399930 175.00 Suzanne Dempsey Planning Services 740.00
Broxtowe Borough Council http://statistics.data.gov.uk/id/local-a... Planning PLAN Planning PLAN Planning / Planning Administration Consultancy Fees 3603 Other Supplies & Services OtherSS 11/01/2013 V399905 565.00 Suzanne Dempsey Planning Services 740.00

I am sorry if Whatdotheyknow.com’s message box make them difficult to read, but the original information can be clearly seen seen here:

http://www.broxtowe.gov.uk/index.aspx?ar...

Item number 12457 and 12458, from 11 January 2013 are for Suzanne Dempsey Planning Services, and appear to be the only payments made so far during the financial year to ‘Suzanne Dempsey Planning Services’. It is a fair assumption that one or both payments may be for work done in relation to the Planning Application at 19 Hallams Lane.

These payments may be what you (as Broxtowe’s Head of Legal Services) refer to in your letter to Mrs Fiona Barton of 20 February 2013 when you wrote of Suzanne Dempsey Planning Services ‘she was paid by the Council for her services’.

However the payment is clearly not to an officer, it is to a Consultant – hence the payment description of ‘Consultancy Fees’. These payments are clearly ‘Payments to Suppliers’ and not to ‘Officers’.

I am writing to you to invite you to seriously reconsider if you wish to stand by the following statements, which appear (in light of the above) to be extremely questionable:

Starting at the end of your third (larger) paragraph on page 2 of your letter to Mrs Barton of 20th February, you write the following sentence:

‘Ms Dempsey therefore attended the committee meeting as an officer of the Council’.

To which I would counter, unless at the time of the meeting on the 10th October 2012 she actually was a Broxtowe Officer, she did not; it seems she may have attended the meeting as a consultant.

If Ms Suzanne Dempsey was genuinely ‘an officer of the Council’ please produce clear evidence to substantiate this claim.

The earlier sentence in this paragraph makes the following peculiar assertion:

‘The Council continued to employ Ms Dempsey on a freelance basis on the cases she had already commenced for us when working under the shared officer arrangements,….’

I have no reason to doubt that Ms Dempsey may have worked on a shared officer arrangement for a time (although actually I have no evidence she ever did), and that we appear to have an admission from you that this ‘shared officer arrangement’ ended when Ms Dempsey ‘terminated her employment with Rushcliffe Borough Council and set up her own consultancy business.’

It springs to mind you possibly mean that ‘The Council continued to engage ‘Suzanne Dempsey Planning Services’ on a freelance basis on cases Ms Suzanne Dempsey had already commenced for us when working under the shared officer arrangements…..”, but if that is what you mean, that is what you should have said.

Is that what you meant?

However, whilst trawling through Broxtowe’s payments to suppliers published on the internet, the two payments 12457 and 12458 appear to be the only ones to ‘Suzanne Dempsey Planning Services’. If so, your letter to Mrs Barton refers to ‘cases (plural) she had already commenced’.

We need to learn whether Ms Suzanne Dempsey and/or ‘Suzanne Dempsey Planning Services’ had one, two or many more ‘cases’ for Broxtowe?

Is the case of 12/00236/FUL unusual or even unique? If so, why was it singled out for special treatment and by whom?

This Planning Application was dated 16 April 2012. An explanation is required of the claim in the revised Design Access and Energy Statement (30th July 2012), which refers to this scenario:

‘Following the submission of the planning application and subsequent liaison with the Conservation Officer…….’

Which begs the question: Was there truly a Broxtowe Conservation Officer liaising with by the applicants, their Agent (Ms Tracey Clegg) or Broxtowe Borough Council at some point, or is in fact a Conservation Consultant (presumably Suzanne Dempsey Planning Services) being referred to here?

Please clarify between what dates you are claiming that Ms Suzanne Dempsey worked on ‘shared officer arrangements’ for Broxtowe Borough Council and Rushcliffe Borough Council, if indeed on reflection she ever did at all?

Evidence I have available to me suggests that Ms Suzanne Dempsey was indeed ‘Conservation and Design Manager’ at Rushcliffe Borough Council for a time, but that Nottinghamshire County Council’s Historic Buildings Section provides conservation advice for Broxtowe Borough Council – but what has happened to this arrangement on this occasion? Has this arrangement been terminated, and if so when, by whom and with whose authority? Was there dissatisfaction with those arrangements, and if so, what were they?

The following statement from the same paragraph also seems to require further examination:

‘The Council now has a new shared working arrangement in place for conservation advice with Erewash Borough Council; this is an acceptable working practice’.

This statement has every chance of being believable, and I have no reason to doubt it. But the claim that Broxtowe has now an ‘an acceptable working practice’ is in no way a claim that what the applicant at 19 Hallams Lane and the affected neighbours at 5, 5a and 7 The Close have endured, was also ‘an acceptable working practice’.

What seems to have emerged here is that by your own admission Broxtowe appear have allowed a consultant to speak at Development Control masquerading as an officer, in complete contravention of Broxtowe’s Constitution and the leaflet ‘Public Speaking at Development Control Committee’.

It is only by the slip of a pen in a letter by you to me referring to ‘Susan Dempsey Associates’ (top page 3, Stage 2 Complaint response 14.2.2013) that any complainant had even the remotest clue that Ms Suzanne Dempsey was anything other than a Broxtowe Officer, which was clearly what we were intended to believe.

As such, Complainants such as myself have been aware of this information for only a matter of days, and are only now starting to comprehend the magnitude that what looks like a further clear procedural and constitutional irregularity may have on the very controversial situation.

To recap, the simple questions for you now are now are as follows:

1. Did the Development Control meeting of 10th October 2012 include participation from a Planning Consultant representing ‘Suzanne Dempsey Planning Services’ in clear contravention of Broxtowe’s Constitution, or did it not?
2. Mr Philip Horsfield, Head of Legal Services in a letter to Fiona Barton, of the 20th of February states that ‘Ms Dempsey therefore attended the meeting as ‘an officer of the Council’. There seems reasonable doubt that Ms Dempsey was at the time any form of ‘officer of the Council’, and therefore quite simply, may not have been able to have done so. Would you, Mr Horsfield like to take this opportunity to retract this claim, and consider apologising for the potential of your statement to mislead, or as an alternative provide clear evidence of the dates that Ms Suzanne Dempsey was genuinely an officer of Broxtowe Council including the 10th of October 2012?
3. Whilst Mr Horsfield claims the Council now has ‘an acceptable working practice’, had Broxtowe Borough Council ‘an acceptable working practice’ for the duration of negotiations, consultation, the application and decision making process and meeting of the 10th of October 2012, in relation to 12/00236/FUL?
4. Has Broxtowe terminated the arrangement it had for providing conservation advice with Nottinghamshire County Council’s Historic Building Section, and if so when was this decision made, why and by whom?
5. What remedy does Mr Horsfield and the other responsible individuals of Broxtowe Borough Council consider would be appropriate to put the Moores at 19 Hallams Lane, and the owners of Nos 5, 5a and 7 The Close back in the situation they were in before the permission was granted?

As you are aware I believe Broxtowe should revoke the permission granted under the clear powers available for the Council to do so in these circumstances.

In a situation when the Chief Executive’s Planning Service has undergone comprehensive root and branch reform to put behind it monumental failures in the past (with it is believed the continuing assistance of planning specialists Trevor Roberts Associates) the potential for scandal of failure to implement very real reforms, despite the extensive and no doubt very expensive changes in procedures and many personnel, is a risk to take beyond reasonable comprehension.

I urge you to revoke the permission, require potentially guilty parties to compensate individuals harmed by the decision making process where necessary, and ensure that never again does your Council allow itself to slowly fall back in to the mire from which it has been claimed it had only so recently emerged.

Yours faithfully,

Simon Barton

Broxtowe Borough Council

Thank you for contacting Broxtowe Borough Council. This is an automated reply to let you know that your email has been received. If any action is necessary it will be passed to the relevant officer who will respond to you directly.

Visit our Website www.broxtowe.gov.uk to make payments, download forms and to find information about all our services.

You can telephone us on 0115 9177777. Our switchboard is open for calls Monday to Thursday from 8.30am to 5.00pm and 8.30am till 4.30 on Fridays. The main Council Offices are also open for visitors between these times.

You can write to us at - Broxtowe Borough Council, Council Offices, Foster Avenue, Beeston, Nottingham, NG9 1AB.

Broxtowe Borough Council

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

foi, Broxtowe Borough Council

Dear Simon

Thank you for your request. You will receive a reply as soon as
possible and in any event by 10 April 2013 at the latest. Please
contact me if I can be of any help in the meantime.

Regards

Sue
______________________________________

Sue Rodden
Head of Administrative Services

Broxtowe Borough Council
Council Offices
Foster Avenue
Beeston
Nottingham
NG9 1AB

Tel: 0115 9173295
Fax: 0115 9173131
www.broxtowe.gov.uk

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

foi, Broxtowe Borough Council

Dear Mr Barton,

I write to seek clarification on the section of the constitution that you believe has been breached to enable Mr Horsfield to provide a full response to your enquiries.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Yours sincerely
Sarah Williams
________________________________
Mrs Sarah Williams
Complaints Officer X3576

Broxtowe Borough Council
Directorate of Resources
Council Offices, Foster Avenue
Beeston, Nottingham, NG9 1AB

Tel: 0115 917 7777
Fax: 0115 917 3131
www.broxtowe.gov.uk

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

Dear Mrs Williams,

Thank you for your email.

I would answer your enquiry by saying I have no wish to be drawn into seeing sections of the Council's Constitution in isolation; but to save time and to enable Mr Horsfield to consider whether the argument that Suzanne Dempsey Planning Services spoke at Development Control Committee as 'an officer' holds any water, I would first go to the Constitution at

5b Code of conduct for Officers
6 Good Practice Probity in Planning

and then the leaflet 'Public Speaking at Development Control.

I am confident that both you (as Complaints Officer) and Mr Horsfield (as I believe Monitoring Officer) would consider it your jobs to ensure that the actions of your Council are lawful, more than my position as a member of the public to show that your actions are unlawful?

An alternative to yourselves would be the Ombudsman (but our complaints remain at Stage 2 of your Complaints Procedure), or in due course the Administrative Court, as new and baffling information keeps coming up on your Council's handling of this application.

I merely repeat my confusion that 'Suzanne Dempsey Planning Services' seems not to be a Broxtowe Officer as has been claimed by Mr Horsfield.

By the way, further information in my possession since I first wrote to you on this subject suggests that Mrs Dempsey herself was to end her employment at Rushcliffe BC in August 2012, although I am not sure if this was a timetable kept to. If it were, then her position as 'Officer' anywhere might have come to a conclusion well before October 10th 2012.

I hope all this is of assistance, and I look forward to hearing from you

Yours sincerely,

Simon Barton

Broxtowe Borough Council

Thank you for contacting Broxtowe Borough Council. This is an automated reply to let you know that your email has been received. If any action is necessary it will be passed to the relevant officer who will respond to you directly.

Visit our Website www.broxtowe.gov.uk to make payments, download forms and to find information about all our services.

You can telephone us on 0115 9177777. Our switchboard is open for calls Monday to Thursday from 8.30am to 5.00pm and 8.30am till 4.30 on Fridays. The main Council Offices are also open for visitors between these times.

You can write to us at - Broxtowe Borough Council, Council Offices, Foster Avenue, Beeston, Nottingham, NG9 1AB.

Broxtowe Borough Council

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foi, Broxtowe Borough Council

Dear Mr Barton,

I write in response to your recent request for information under the Freedom of Information Act 2000. Mr Horsfield has provided with the following response to your request:

"It is my view that Ms Dempsey was permitted to speak at the Development Control Committee.

Ms Dempsey was retained by the Council to provide advice in relation to the Conservation issues. It was the view of the Officers that this advice was necessary to ensure that the Committee were properly able to discharge its functions. Part IX para 42(3)(c) of the constitution makes it the responsibility of the Chief Executive to provide professional advice to the Committee.

Even were this provision not in place then the Chair of the Committee has broad powers to allow speaking as appropriate to ensure that the Committee has the information appropriate to enable them to make a decision. The Council's Policy in relation to speaking at Committee is there to ensure that we are able to regulate this process to ensure that the decision making process is facilitated."

I trust that this answers your question and should I be able to assist further then please do not hesitate to contact me.

Yours sincerely
Sarah Williams (for FOI)
________________________________
Mrs Sarah Williams
Complaints Officer X3576

Broxtowe Borough Council
Directorate of Resources
Council Offices, Foster Avenue
Beeston, Nottingham, NG9 1AB

Tel: 0115 917 7777
Fax: 0115 917 3131
www.broxtowe.gov.uk

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

Dear Mrs Williams,

Thank you for your response to my Freedom of Information Act Request concerning Susan (sic) Dempsey Associates/Suzanne Dempsey Planning Services/Suzanne Dempsey’s ‘Eligibility to Speak at Development Control’.

I am afraid that you seem to have given me pretty much solely Mr Hosfield’s, your Head of Legal Service’s, opinion for which I am of course grateful; but you have not supplied hardly any of the information requested, as you are of course obliged to do under the FOI Act.

By my reckoning that is due by close of business today, the 10th of April.

Of course I have requested the information so that others beside Mr Horsfield and including myself may judge what precisely her or the organisation she represents status is, and was. That is why it is important that I receive it, and receive it promptly, because as you are no doubt aware legal ‘clocks’ are ticking.

May I please have the following information, all contained within my request, today?

1. Did Suzanne Dempsey attend in the DC Meeting on 10th October as an officer of the Council?
2. On the 10th of October 2012 was Suzanne Dempsey actually an officer of the Council?
3. Did Suzanne Dempsey attend the meeting as a Consultant?
4. Did either Susan Dempsey Associates or Suzanne Dempsey Planning Services attend the meeting as a Consultant?
5. If a claim is being made that on the 10th October Suzanne Dempsey herself was an officer, please give clear evidence that she was.
6. Did Suzanne Dempsey work on a ‘shared officer arrangement’ at any time for Broxtowe Borough Council; if so between which dates?
7. Is it the case that “The Council continued to
 engage ‘Suzanne Dempsey Planning Services’ on a freelance basis on
cases Ms Suzanne Dempsey had already commenced for us when working
under the shared officer arrangements…..”
8. Has Susan Dempsey Associates/Suzanne Dempsey/Suzanne Dempsey Planning Services had one, two, or many more planning cases for Broxtowe?
9. Is the case of application 12/00236/FUL unusual or even unique in its engagement/employment of this individual or the Consultancy she is engaged by? To be able to judge ‘unusual’ please state how many cases this individual or consultance has worked on, to date, and their application references (admittedly a supplementary question)
10. If it is unusual or unique, why has it been singled out, and by whom?
11. Nottinghamshire County Council’s
Historic Buildings Section provides conservation advice for
Broxtowe Borough Council – but what has happened to this
arrangement on this occasion? Has this arrangement been terminated, and if so when, by whom and with whose authority? Was there
dissatisfaction with those arrangements, and if so, what were they?
12. Broxtowe appear have allowed a consultant to speak at Development
Control masquerading as an officer, in complete contravention of
Broxtowe’s Constitution and the leaflet ‘Public Speaking at
Development Control Committee’. Is this statement false?
13. Did the Development Control meeting of 10th October 2012 include
participation from a Planning Consultant representing ‘Suzanne
Dempsey Planning Services’? If so, is this in contravention of Broxtowe’s
Constitution, or not?
14. Does Mr Horsfield retract the following statement: ‘Ms Dempsey therefore
attended the meeting as ‘an officer of the Council’
15. If indeed he does need to retract the statement at 14, will he apologise to the potential of that statement to mislead?
16. Did Broxtowe Borough Council, on the 10th October 2012 have in place an acceptable working practice in relation to 12/00236/FUL?
17. What remedy does Mr Horsfield and the other accountable
individuals of Broxtowe Borough Council consider would be
appropriate to put the Moores at 19 Hallams Lane, and the owners of
Nos 5, 5a and 7 The Close back in the situation they were in before
the permission was granted if this should prove necessary?

I am sorry to have to return to you for this precise information, and would grateful to hear from you at the earliest opportunity,

Yours sincerely,

Simon Barton

Broxtowe Borough Council

Thank you for contacting Broxtowe Borough Council. This is an automated reply to let you know that your email has been received. If any action is necessary it will be passed to the relevant officer who will respond to you directly.

Visit our Website www.broxtowe.gov.uk to make payments, download forms and to find information about all our services.

You can telephone us on 0115 9177777. Our switchboard is open for calls Monday to Thursday from 8.30am to 5.00pm and 8.30am till 4.30 on Fridays. The main Council Offices are also open for visitors between these times.

You can write to us at - Broxtowe Borough Council, Council Offices, Foster Avenue, Beeston, Nottingham, NG9 1AB.

Broxtowe Borough Council

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Horsfield, Phillip, Broxtowe Borough Council

1 Atodiad

Dear Mr Barton,

Please find attached a response to your questions.

I hope that this assists.

Yours sincerely

<<523 Barton.doc>>

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

Dear Mr Horsfield,

Thank you for your very prompt reply which I appreciate.

I will absorb the information provided, and return to you in due course.

Yours sincerely,

Simon Barton

Gadawodd Simon Barton anodiad ()

My reply from the Head of Legal Services, Mr Horsfield, today can be seen by opening the document sent to me on the 10th of April 2013.

Can anyone comment on what he has written to me explaining that, paraphrasing, an officer does not have to be employed by the Council.

Is this so, in anyone's opinion? Surely an 'officer', bound therefore by Codes of Conduct has to have a certain employment position?

Dear Mr Horsfield,

I have had a little think about this and although I'm struggling with the logic of your justification for Ms Suzanne Dempsey
speaking at Development Control, the following essential information is missing from your letter.

At Question 5,I asked 'If a claim is being made that on the 10th October Suzanne Dempsey herself was an officer, please give clear evidence that she was.'

You ask me 'to clarify what information you are requesting. All that is required for a person to be an officer of the Authority is an appointment'

By which I assume you to mean that she was required to have been appointed? Please clarify what you mean here.

Therefore, at the least please show me clear evidence that on the 10th October 2012 Ms Dempsey had an 'appointment'(or was appointed)and the dates between which she had this appointment for Broxtowe Borough Council?

Yours sincerely,

Simon Barton

Dear Mr Horsfield,

May I politely try to prompt a reply from you for my Freedom of Information Act request, which is overdue.

I am at present waiting to hear whether Ms Suzanne Dempsey has had any position whatsoever with your Council, and if so, when this appointment as 'an officer' started and ended, and with whose authority?

I would have thought it should be easy to find the public record of the decision making process that led both to the ending of the relationship with Nottinghamshire County Council's team, and the starting and (I believe you imply) the ending of the relationship with Ms Dempsey/Suzanne Dempsey Planning Services.

Her standing or lack of it will have bearing on the four cases that you have admitted she has had input into: Beeston Square, greenbelt housing at Field Farm,Stapleford, greenbelt proposals at Hemphill Wood, as well as the 'extension' to a bugalow in the Conservation Area to 19 Hallams Lane, Chilwell.

This latter case is certainly in illustrious company, any casual observer may conclude.

I look forward to hearing from you very soon, please.

Yours sincerely,

Simon Barton

Dear Mr Horsfield,

May I politely try to prompt a reply from you for my Freedom of Information Act request, which is overdue.

I am at present waiting to hear whether Ms Suzanne Dempsey has had any position whatsoever with your Council, and if so, when this appointment as 'an officer' started and ended, and with whose authority?

I would have thought it should be easy to find the public record of the decision making process that led both to the ending of the relationship with Nottinghamshire County Council's team, and the starting and (I believe you imply) the ending of the relationship with Ms Dempsey/Suzanne Dempsey Planning Services.

Her standing or lack of it will have bearing on the four cases that you have admitted she has had input into: Beeston Square, greenbelt housing at Field Farm,Stapleford, greenbelt proposals at Hemphill Wood, as well as the 'extension' to a bungalow in the Conservation Area to 19 Hallams Lane, Chilwell.

This latter case is certainly in illustrious company, any casual observer may conclude.

I look forward to hearing from you very soon, please.

Yours sincerely,

Simon Barton

Dear Mrs William and Mr Horsfield,

I am afraid I am unable to trace either an acknowledgment or reply to recent correspondence to you and your Authority on this matter.

May I with respect remind you that by law, the authority should normally have responded promptly and by 17 April 2013.

May I please now have the information I have requested?

I look forward to hearing from you,

Yours sincerely,

Simon Barton

Horsfield, Phillip, Broxtowe Borough Council

1 Atodiad

Dear Mr Barton,

I apologise for the delay.

Please find attached an invoice in relation to the work done for the committee. The fee and bank details have been redacted as they are commercially sensitive. You will see that the invoice is specific for this committee and item.

I do hope that this is the information you were after and if not please do not hesitate to contact me again and I will endeavour to assist.

If you are not satisfied with the decision to withhold commercially sensitive information, you may ask for this to be reviewed under the Council's complaints procedure, details of which can be found via the following link:
http://www.broxtowe.gov.uk/index.aspx?ar...

If you remain dissatisfied following the internal review, you may ask the Information Commissioner to take a decision under section 50 of the Act.

Your sincerely

_______________________________________
Phillip Horsfield,
Head of Legal Services,
Ext: 3230

Broxtowe Borough Council,
Directorate of Resources,
Council Offices, Foster Avenue,
Beeston, Nottingham, NG9 1AB
Tel: 0115 917 7777
Fax: 0115 917 3131

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

Dear Mr Horsfield and Mrs Williams,

May I return to you to ask for clarification of one of your recent replies to me, where I believe you may have misunderstood my direct question, or may have had less information to hand than I do.

I have asked elsewhere in this FOI Act request (paraphrasing) whether the involvement of Suzanne Dempsey Planning Services in the Development Control meeting of October 10th 2012, and events leading up to it, were unusual or unique.

I'm sorry to point out that your answer to me of 'No' and "it is not' cannot in my opinion be reconciled with the facts as we know them.

Application 12/00236/FUL is ar far as the information you have provided to me is not only 'unusual' it does indeed appear to be 'unique'.

Broxtowe Borough Council has some 500 householder applications a year and I'm sorry to say that 12/00236/FUL appears to be the only application that has been (ever?) treated this way. It looks very much like it has indeed been 'singled out' for reasons yet unexplained (although they will be in due course).

The illustrious company it keeps where you have told me the individual (Ms Dempsey) or her business has acted for you are of course the most highly contentious major proposals of recent years in the Borough - Field Farm (currently with the Secretary of State), Beeston's 'The Square' Shopping Centre, and Hempshill Hall. 19 Hallams Lane is defined as an ''extension' to a bungalow, although none but a planning pedant would argue that the bungalow itself has now been all but demolished by the developer, and in a Conservation Area, at that.

May I invite you please accept and admit the 19 Hallams Lane application is 'unusual' or 'unique' which it is, and then we can move on to the next stage of this tortuous but essential process.

I can assure you I appreciate all this business in the Broxtowe Planning Service goes back a very long way before you personally and recently came to Broxtowe, and sometimes you may be invited by people at your end to take at face value claims that may not be entirely substantiated by records when they are examined.

I look forward to hearing from you under the terms of Act.

Yours sincerely,

Simon Barton

Horsfield, Phillip, Broxtowe Borough Council

Dear Mr Barton,

Thank you for your additional correspondence.

As you suggest I am not treating this matter at face value and am endeavouring to ensure that I have the information available in order to respond to you. As you will appreciate this involves ensuring that I have read through the relevant planning history on this matter to enable me to determine if I do need to issue the correction that you have suggested. I will endeavour to do this as quickly as I am able and in any event within the timescales prescribed by the Act.

If I am able to assist further in the interim then please do not hesitate to contact me.

Yours sincerely

_______________________________________
Phillip Horsfield,
Head of Legal Services,
Ext: 3230

Broxtowe Borough Council,
Directorate of Resources,
Council Offices, Foster Avenue,
Beeston, Nottingham, NG9 1AB
Tel: 0115 917 7777
Fax: 0115 917 3131

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

foi, Broxtowe Borough Council

Dear Mr Barton,

Further to my email of 29 April. I have now had the opportunity to look into your enquiry. You have asked me to reconsider my responses to your questions 9 and 10 as set out in my email of 10 April.

Q9. Is the case of application 12/00236/FUL unusual or even unique in its engagement /employment of this individual or the Consultancy she is engaged by? To be able to judge ‘unusual’ please state how many cases this individual or consultance has worked on, to date, and their application references.

My answer to question 8 provided the application references of the four applications on which Ms Dempsey has acted for the Council. I can confirm that Ms Dempsey only attended Committee on the one occasion concerning a domestic property during the time that she has been engaged by the Council and that is 12/00236/FUL. In that regard I agree that this is a unique case.

Q10. If it is unusual or unique, why has it been singled out, and by whom?

The application was unique owing to both its facts and its timing. I am aware that applications on this site have previously been refused twice, with the refusals specifically relating to the impact on the conservation area. The site is in a conservation area and as the Council does not have any in house expertise to provide to members it was decided that the required expert advice must be sought externally. Hence Ms Dempsey was employed to work as an officer of the Council on this application. This decision was made by the Head of Planning. In my experience however it is not unique for conservation officers to comment and provide advice on planning applications of a domestic nature where these fall in a conservation area. Whoever was acting as conservation officer at the time would have been asked to comment on the application.

I trust that this assists and if I can be of any further assistance please do not hesitate to contact me again.

Yours sincerely
_______________________________________
Phillip Horsfield,
Head of Legal Services,
Ext: 3230
Broxtowe Borough Council,
Directorate of Resources,
Council Offices, Foster Avenue,
Beeston, Nottingham, NG9 1AB
Tel: 0115 917 7777
Fax: 0115 917 3131

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