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  1. Published on: 18/05/2020 08:40 AMReported by: rogerblaxall
    News sent to the busy QLocal Ormskirk news desk by Burscough's Gavin Rattray, secretary of Burscough Flooding Group.

    Open Letter to WLBC Council Leader and Chief Operating Officer

    Dear Ian Moran and Jacqui Sinnott-Lacey,

    While making enquiries about the planning application for the second phase of Yew Tree Farm (YTF) for 267 homes (2020/0293/CON and 2019/1182/ARM), I found that 2020/0293/CON was going to be determined in such a way that can, at best, be described as not transparent or, at worst, be described as completely illegal.

    Chief among my concerns was that Burscough Flooding Group’s (BFG) representations can’t be meaningfully considered because the decision makers - United Utilities (UU), West Lancashire Borough Council (WLBC) and Lancashire County (LCC) - have all publicly stated that they will not accept drainage/flooding evidence from BFG.

    In addition, at least two of the decision makers have very clear vested financial interests in 2019/1182/ARM going ahead and, as you know, 2020/0293/CON could determine the outcome of 2019/1182/ARM.

    Of equal concern is that, although it seems totally inappropriate to delegate decisions to predetermined bodies with vested financial interests, I believe this method of decision making is WLBC’s normal operating procedure and this sort of thing could have been going on indefinitely. Perhaps this approach explains why BFG’s input to planning applications has not been considered and why so many sites that have come forward in Burscough now cause flooding.

    Can I request that you investigate my concerns with particular regard being given to the following questions:

    • Is WLBC, by failing to meaningfully take into account representations received, carrying out2020/0293/CON and 2019/1182/ARM in an unlawful manner?
    • Is WLBC, by making decisions on2020/0293/CON behind closed doors without public oversight, acting in violation of the Local Government Act 1972?
    • Has a culture of secrecy and lack of transparency in WLBC created an environment which allows corruption to flourish?


    Gavin also provided comprehensive background information to his findings and concerns and hopes to receive a response soon.



     

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