Wirral Council’s Planning Officers have written a report to go to the planning committee, which totally misrepresents what I said in an email with regards to a planning application made by the Social Partnership, for a change of use from vacant computer shop to Drop-in-Centre with ancillary office space.
My representation, which is reproduced below made it very clear that I was supportive of the application, and I was removing it from delegation at the request of local residents and businesses. This is what I said, “Whilst the above application may seem in itself quite innocuous, it is for a ‘Drop in Centre’ for recovering drug addicts and those with alcohol problems. Whilst I fully accept that this type of premises is needed in our communities to provide much needed help, local residents and businesses close by have concerns about the appropriateness of the location. A couple of doors down is the business ‘Fun times’, which caters for young children up to the ages of 7. Parents have already raised concerns with that particular business about the clientele visiting the drop in centre. Therefore I have been asked by local residents and local businesses to have the application to be removed from delegation on the grounds that if approved, this business would be detrimental to the amenity that local residents and local businesses could reasonably expect to enjoy. I would have thought clear enough? However the report reads as below:
Director’s Comments: REASON FOR REFERRAL. “Councillor Blakely requested that the application be taken out of delegation due to it being detrimental to the amenity of local neighbours and local businesses. ” That is clearly not representative of my email, and I believe it would lead people to think that it was me that was objecting to the application, when that is clearly not the case?
I have asked of the Director of Law and the head of Development Control to ensure that the report is unpublished, and replaced with one that contains a more accurate reflection of my representation, (I have said they can reproduce my email in its entirety if that would be helpful). I have also asked that I am sent a full written apology, and assurances that this sort of thing will not be allowed to happen again.