Wednesday, June 21, 2006


The visit

We just had our visit from the planning inspectorate for the appeal for next door. It was all very matter of fact; the inspector was not allowed to talk to us other than us pointing out factual things. It was four guys and me, when the inspector talked about the procedure for coming onto our property, he looked at David and not once at me (I imagined waving). There was a guy from the developers, not the gangster, but someone else, checked shirt, too much beer, he didn't make eye contact with me either, which was just as well, because I couldn't help but give him my 'if looks could kill' look at every opportunity. Then someone from the architect's office, a suited estate agent type, who seemed friendly enough and a council guy in trainers and T-shirt, those two seemed very buddy, buddy. The architect allowed us onto our neighbors property, I don't know if I'd ever been in the garden before, what struck both David and myself was just how tiny the gardens for the proposed development would be, much smaller than we had even imagined. We all walked around the estate, the inspector ahead and us straggling behind.

I realized for them and the inspectorate it's as S said, just business, but for us at the very least it's our home and our privacy, and emotional issues that connect with my Dad. The butterflies were doing their damnedest in my stomach and I couldn't eat until everyone had left. Now we have to wait. But in the meantime they have appealed their second application. They waited until they had a date for the inspectors visit so the two could not be linked, an example where government imposed deadlines will lead to a waste of tax payers money, as the whole procedure has to start from scratch and we have to again let our neighbors know what is going on. It seems common knowledge that the system is designed to wear down any opposition to developers and strikes me as a form of government-sanctioned harassment or at the very least bullying. Why for example, are they even allowed to appeal an application that was unanimously voted against, if there had been some ambiguity, then fair enough and why if we lose at any stage do we have no right to appeal at all?

And they can keep putting in similar applications ad infinitum.
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