Residents complain about the tight deadlines for objecting to Lidl
26/03/2016 07:48:00......Posted by Tim Pollard
Residents have been complaining to me about the council’s timescales on the highly contentious Lidl application on the border with Tandridge. This is the third application on this site, a previous one having been withdrawn and the most recent refused by the council and upheld as a refusal on appeal on road safety grounds.
According to the council’s web site the application was validated on 7 March and the Standard Consultation Expiry date is 7 April. However the site notices only went up on 24 March, so over half the time allowed for residents to object has already gone. The notices went up on the last day of term and many parents will be away for a the whole of the remaining time. This does not seem to be playing fair!
Many are asking why an application for a major development - a significantly sized supermarket plus flats right on the borough boundary and opposite a school - only merits a four week consultation window even if the council had got around to siting the notices promptly? I can happily accept that a domestic extension which is not Permitted Development (I.e. Normally allowed without full planning permission required) could be handled in four weeks, but surely we need more time to consider such a major application which is right on the border and, as such, is necessarily more complex to consult on. For example the highway authority for the exit from site is Tandridge. Half the residents affected are in Tandridge (and therefore presumably Croydon has done nothing to engage with them).
On a related note, I noticed that the web site is exceedingly confusing on the subject of deadlines for all planning applications. Looking at the eight different dates set out in the consultation section here, how on earth is an ordinary member of the public supposed to know which date matters?! What is the difference between all the different dates cited - even I am not 100% sure! I have suggested to officers that we really need some plain english here.
I have asked officers to advise why the consultation period is so short and whether they can consider extending it.