Planning recommendations week ending 27th February 2015

lego-house

In #Brentwoodwest this week there are recommendations in Downsland Drive, Junction Road, Clements Park and Kings Road.

Please note THESE ARE NOT yet decisions – I am able to refer to planning committee now.

22 Downsland Drive: TWO STOREY SIDE AND REAR EXTENSION AND ENLARGED WINDOW TO LOUNGE.

Recommended for REFUSAL

Church House, Junction Road: DEMOLITION OF EXISTING GARAGE AND CONSTRUCTION OF A SINGLE STOREY FRONT EXTENSION WITH CANOPY TO FRONT, DOUBLE STOREY SIDE EXTENSION AND SINGLE STOREY REAR EXTENSION

Recommended for REFUSAL

5 The Chapel, The Galleries: REPLACE EXISTING GLASS WINDOWS, FRAMES TO STAY THE SAME .

Recommended for REFUSAL

5 Drovers Mead: CONSTRUCTION OF A SINGLE-STOREY REAR EXTENSION.

Recommended for APPROVAL

147 Kings Road: CHANGE OF USE FROM RETAIL (CLASS A1) TO MASSAGE THERAPY CENTRE (CLASS D1)

Recommended for APPROVAL

If you have any issues with the above officer recommendation then please get in touch with me as soon as possible. The deadline for referral is midday on Monday 9th March 2015 to refer the above item to the Planning Committee for further discussion.

For more information on the planning process, please see my advice here.

Parking Fees reduced!

 

 

one hour successParking charges to go down under the Accord Administration!

With the Lib Dems, I can’t remember a time when we weren’t fighting to make parking fees more reasonable!  Now we have done it – and the Tories voted AGAINST our plans!

We pulled this off by being fair – we introduced an overnight parking charge of £2 to capitalise on the TOWIE visitors.  This has yielded around £60,000 in income which has meant we can do the following:

  • Reduce the all day car parking fee from £10.50 to £8.00

  • Introduce a new Saturday workers fee of £4 in Westbury Road Car Park

  • Introduce a new £30 weekly charge in the William Hunter Way Car Park

This will take around ten weeks to introduce once it is advertised and consulted upon.

It is unbelievable that the Tories voted against on the basis that we hadn’t reduced it enough, despite them voting for a 117% increase in the one hour charge in 2012 (and that includes current Brentwood West Tory Cllr Will Russell, who’s up for re-election in May).

It’s also interesting to see that another Tory scaremongering activity didn’t come true.  Back in 2011, two days before I lost my seat, they put out a leaflet in Brentwood West saying that, should a night time charge be introduced then people would be forced in to the side streets to park and, therefore, we would all be wading around in “rivers of vomit”.  Yes, they put that on a leaflet and people believed it!  So, watch what they say when it comes to May’s elections!  It turns out not to be the case, so just as well no one opened up a Wellies Shop in anticipation.

 

Ward budget news: Flowers!

With just £190 left to spend in this year’s ward budget, we approached housing to see if there was anything we could do to help our elderly residents.

I am pleased to say we have now applied to spend that money at Chichester House for hanging baskets and Victoria Court for some plants for the communal gardens.

Planning recommendation week ending 20th February 2015

 

lego-house

In #Brentwoodwest this week there is an application in Kings Road and, despite there being no resident objections, I have referred it to committee myself:

POTENTIAL HOUSE 149 – 157 KINGS ROAD BRENTWOOD ESSEX CM14 4EG USE OF VACANT SECOND FLOOR OFFICES AS A HOUSE OF MULTIPLE OCCUPATION.

Recommended for APPROVAL

This is my email of referral:

 I am not satisfied that this meets the parking guidelines or that this will offer acceptable living accommodation for those who could potentially reside there.  No bath facilities are offered – only showers – and this does not seem appropriate.
I also feel that this is an application that will give rise to further accommodation conversions from office accommodation in an area that is already over-subscribed in terms of residential and will see a continual loss of office accommodation in the area around Brentwood station.
No provision has been made for parking or visitor parking – as well as no provision made for deliveries, health visitors, relatives  in an area that currently has serious parking availability issues.
No provision has been made for recycling or communal bin areas.
I am dubious about the increase in sewer provision  given the increase in toilet provision.
It states in the report that the property has been marketed since 2009, but in the application that the office use only ceased in 2012.  It also states no increase in residential units when this is an application to add 11 units?

Wad budget spend: Church tent bought for Church Youth Group

John and I have spent another £650 of our ward budget on a tent for the Kings Chase Baptist Church’s Youth Group,  This has been approved and the great thing is that this will be used for a variety of events for groups of all ages but the main reason is so that when the youth group go away, they can all eat together in a communal tent, whatever the weather!

Hardworking, conscientious council officer cares for sick father whilst continuing to diligently perform key role…

…not quite the Daily Mail headline – but then that wouldn’t sell papers would it?

A statement from Lib Dem Deputy Leader on Jo-Anne Ireland and her current working arrangements:

Dear Resident,

Today, The Mail on Sunday published an article about Brentwood Council’s Acting CEO, Jo-Anne Ireland. You may already have seen it in the newspaper. If not, you can read it here

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2963332/Town-hall-chief-makes-105k-running-council-Essex-Cyprus-home-2-000-miles-away.html

If you read the quote from William Lloyd (Deputy Leader) before the rest of the article (it’s buried right at the end), you might see that there are two sides to this story. Miss Ireland is paying all her own expenses, so there is no additional cost to the taxpayer. As the article itself says, she has spent 8 days in Brentwood this month and 10 days in January. That works out as 50% of her time spent in the office. I can vouch for the fact that she is easily contactable via email and/or phone for the rest of the week and indeed, into the evenings and weekends.

Looking at this situation another way, we’re in a period of transition, with a new CEO starting in March. We, the Accord Administration, decided that we didn’t want to lose our most senior officer in the run up to the new CEO starting. Allowing Miss Ireland to work part of the time from Cyprus was a management decision taken to retain her essential experience and make sure we had continuity during the transition to the new CEO. This is also the time when we set the budget and, as the most senior finance officer, losing Miss Ireland would have caused a number of problems.
Miss Ireland would have stayed in Brentwood until after May this year and the transition to a new officer would have been smooth and not at all newsworthy. Unfortunately, her father had a stroke late last year. He lives on Cyprus, so her plans to move there had to be accelerated. We are fortunate that Miss Ireland has been so willing to work with us at this time. She could have resigned with immediate effect and we would then have had to recruit interim staff at a much higher cost while looking for a permanent replacement.
I hope that this gives you a different perspective on the Mail article. We were only contacted at 5pm on Friday for our comments and we rapidly came to the conclusion that the journalists were working to someone else’s agenda and weren’t interested in the broader story. Please forward this to your friends so that the other side of this story can be told.
Best wishes
Cllr Graeme Clark
on behalf of the Accord Administration

Planning recommendations week ending 13th February 2015

lego-house

In #Brentwoodwest this week there is an application in Burntwood:

Please note THIS IS NOT yet a decision – I am able to refer to planning committee now.

9 Burntwood: SINGLE STOREY REAR EXTENSION TO INCLUDE THREE ROOFLIGHTS TO REAR.

Recommended for APPROVAL

If you have any issues with the above officer recommendation then please get in touch with me as soon as possible. The deadline for referral is midday on Monday 23 February 2015 to refer the above item to the Planning Committee for further discussion.

For more information on the planning process, please see my advice here.