Tuesday, 15 December 2009

Three hours of cross-examination!

It is great to be at home, sitting by a glorious wood fire with a glass of wine. It has certainly been a long and tiring day.

Today, I represented Cornwall Council at a Planning Inquiry in St Austell. Earlier this year, an application was submitted for a TRSA (Trunk Road Service Area) some 500m to the east of Victoria near Roche. It was presented to the Central Sub-Area Planning Committee, which resolved it should be refused.

This was then referred to the Council’s Strategic Planning Committee (an unacceptable practice since stopped). In the meantime, the applicant appealed because the Council had not determined the application and the Strategic Planning Committee voted to contest the appeal.

And that was where I came in. As the officers had recommended that the application be approved, it was necessary for a councillor to front up the Council’s case. I was approached and agreed.

Though the Council has experienced legal support at the Inquiry, I had the task of setting out a summary of the Council’s reasons for refusal. I was then cross-examined by the applicant’s legal representatives. This started at just after 11.00, we broke for one hour for dinner, and I was finally allowed off the stand at 3.20.

I can assure one and all that the wine tastes good tonight.

1 comment:

Cllr Andrew Wallis said...

Quiet Day then. Cabinet was interesting..