Thursday, 29 September 2016

Application for costs by Greener for Life: The Inspector says no!

In addition to the main decision, the outcome of which I outlined in a previous post, the Inspector ruled against Greener for Life’s application for costs against the Council.

Greener for Life argued that the actions of Cornwall Council were “unreasonable” and resulted in “unnecessary costs” to their company. In particular, they moaned about the fact that councillors took a different view to planning officers and even criticised elected members for deferring both appeals on 19th November in order to consider the possibility of an alternative access off the A30 and deferring Appeal A on 11th February to look at the detail of specific conditions.

The Inspector did not agree with Greener for Life and his ruling was very critical of them.

He wrote: “The deferral from the November 2015 Committee was sensible so that the Council could explore with Highways England whether an access could be created directly off the A30, which would have overcome most of the residents’ problems with the plant … in view of the breach of several of the conditions attached to the original permission it was not unreasonable of the Council to defer the application from the February 2016 Committee in order to carefully consider the precise wording of the conditions, given the issues raised by neighbouring residents at that Committee meeting.”

It was also quite telling that he added: “The appellant’s response at the hearing to Cllr Cole’s assertion that it had declined to discuss the wording of the proposed conditions following that deferral was unconvincing. The evidence presented by the Council, residents and Cllr Cole points to a lack of urgency on the applicant’s part in seeking to resolve problems to residential neighbours arising from the plant. The Council was obliged to relook at the conditions carefully in view of the significant number and serious nature of residents’ continuing objections.”

And in another part of the ruling, he made clear his view that Greener for Life should have been “more focussed” in trying to resolve problems they had caused.

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