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"failing to comply" with planning guidelines on informed consultation and
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Complaint to council on lack of paper plans
The Courier, 8 July 2010
St Andrews Community Council has officially complained to
Fife Council's chief executive over the lack of paper copies of plans for
developments in the town.
The community council's planning committee claims officials
have "refused" to supply planning information to its members, other voluntary
bodies and the general public.
The letter to council chief Ronnie Hinds, signed by
chairman Dr Ian Goudie and others, quotes current community engagement
guidelines that state people should be made aware of proposals that affect them
as early as possible.
It also requires that people are given the facts to allow
them to make a contribution, have the opportunity to engage and - having made
their views known - get clearer explanations of how and why decisions were
The community council says the local authority is "failing
to comply with all aspects" of planning advice.
A community council spokeswoman complained that officials
refuse to supply paper copies of plans as they are "not in the public
She said; "Applications may be in conservation areas or
relate to listed buildings, or a previous application may have been refused by
a Reporter, which officials are not always aware of.
"In this developer-led council, 85% of decisions are
made by officials, who do not always allow the statutory period for
consultation before issuing planning consent.
"It is almost impossible to find out when matters are
coming to committee, when they have been approved and by whom, reasons for
refusal, etc. or even the existence of applications.
"The community council is the only statutory body in St
Andrews and has a responsibility to represent residents in studying
applications and lodging objections and comments."
Copies of the letter have been sent to the Scottish
Government, COSLA, local MSPs and MP, and the Association of Scottish Community
Community Council Objection - for related concerns about the handling
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