An Inspector Calls, aka Bloody Garden Villages Chapter II

And so that nice government Inspector has once again written to the three North Essex Authorities (NEA) still keen on pushing ahead with the ‘unsound’ Bloody Garden Villages.

Roger Clews appears to be a very patient man. He needs to be given the blind optimism of CBC, Tendring, and Braintree District Councils.

His latest letter made public on Friday is in response to the Carry on Regardless approach being pursued.

Compared to the 20+ page letter back in the summer, this document is relatively short at only eight pages.

It is worth remembering that a formal report was expected back in the balmy summer months. The nice government Inspector wrote a letter instead explaining why the ‘unsound’ plans weren’t worthy of such an effort.

Speaking of the ‘unsound,’ the latest exchange starts off with:

“I am not able to express any view on whether or not your proposals will enable the Plan to be found sound.”

Everyone loves a BGV cliffhanger.

The Inspector adds:

“I welcome your statement that the NEAs will ensure that the Plan, and the evidence base to support it, are progressed with strong evidence of constructive engagement and involvement with local communities.”

The Chronic remembers a comical ‘consultation’ session in the William Loveless Hall in Wivenhoe.

North Essex Garden Community bods were giving residents post-it notes and asking them to write down their thoughts. It wasn’t clear if these post-it notes were even collected at the end.

Consultation complete, box ticked.

The Inspector is also asking for a little more detail on the Rapid Transport System [STOP IT]:

“It is unclear from the summary whether or not the proposed further work on the rapid transit system (RTS) is intended to cover all the points in paragraphs 42 & 43 of my 8 June letter.”

How many points can you make on a dedicated bus lane?

NEA are playing with the big boys here:

“I suggest that it would be prudent for the NEAs to seek a legal opinion on whether the process they describe here meets the requirements of the Environmental Assessment of Plans and Programmes Regulations 2004.”

That will cost them.

It remains to be seen if the Cory Caveat explained at CBC at Cabinet on Wednesday will now be triggered.

This involves the NEA’s each holding back the proposed £100,000 gift to NEGC before they get to see the white smoke coming out of the Inspector.

tbh it’s not a doom and gloom letter, but it ‘aint no love letter either.

The Inspector takes issue with the timeline suggested by the NEA’s:

“I would advise that the NEAs should take as much time as is needed to ensure that the further work addresses all the shortcomings.”

The plan was to have something to consult upon by March 2019. The Inspector is a little more realistic when he suggests June 2019 for the next hearing.

Finally it seems that the NEA’s have been put on school report. The Inspector has asked for a monthly report updating on what work has been carried out.

It will be interesting to see how our Overlords at CBC try and spin this one.

One thought on “An Inspector Calls, aka Bloody Garden Villages Chapter II

  • 24th Nov 2018 at 7:59 am
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    Great post and thanks for the laughs. Having not got involved in the planning processes until recently, is this typical behaviour of CBC and is the Inspector typical of Govmt Planning Inspectors?

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