Keith Turner, of Sherford, writes:
The reasons given by the secretary of state and planning inspector for refusing the Winslade Farm turbine show either a remarkable lack of understanding, or a blatant disregard, by the district council’s development management committee for the planning statutes and guidelines that protect Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty from inappropriate developments.
The DMC’s conduct should be subject to an official enquiry to scrutinise the processes and examine the justifications of DMC members, who twice led the council to disregard the advice from its professional planners and make the wrong decision. Lessons need to be learnt to address issues with process and personnel where they are unfit for purpose.
At the statutory public inquiry in September, the expert evidence for the applicant was given by a local firm of architects. The veracity of the applicant’s evidence
was shown to be questionable regarding a number of issues crucial to the inquiry
and was eventually withdrawn altogether on the grounds of a breach of the Royal Institute of Architects’ code of conduct.
The Architects Registration Board is the regulatory body, funded by Riba, to investigate and adjudicate on breaches of the code. As a regulatory body, with a charter to protect the profession and public interests, it would be reasonable to expect the ARB to investigate this matter, especially as it occurred at a public statutory inquiry.
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