Church Langley councillor sets out why he will be objecting to Premier Inn proposal
News / Mon 4th Jun 2018 am30 07:08am
A CHURCH Langley councillor has published the speech he will be making on Wednesday in objection to the proposal for a Premier Inn.
Cllr Simon Carter said: “Madam Chairman, I believe there have been over 300 individual objections to this application indicating an extreme level of concern. If this panel believe in democracy and consultation, then they must pay careful attention to the depth and volume of objections.
The report says the earlier application was withdrawn and amended to address some of the earlier concerns. Well those improvements must be extremely small.
We are left with an extremely dangerous car park exit, where traffic leaving both the Tesco and hotel car parks face an offset cross roads and blind corners in both directions. How is that an improvement?
The exterior is clad in grey brick and grey zinc, designed to give it its own identity. Well it does that alright.
It looks more like a prison block than part of a neighbourhood centre.
Which brings me nicely onto to my main concern, and an issue that should concern the committee.
The report says
“Policy RTCS15 sets out the supported uses within Neighbourhood Centres. Hotels, which fall within use class C1, do not feature on this list; however, neither does the policy suggest the use would be unacceptable in principle.”
“Would be unacceptable in principle”. The whole basis of local plans is based around assumed approval. Its sets out what would be acceptable in various areas. If you set out in detail what was not acceptable in every location, the Plan would be a huge, unwieldy, impractical, tome.
So what else would be not be unacceptable? The rest of Use Class C categories – bail hostels, children’s homes, HMOs? Or what about other Class A uses such as fast food shops, casinos and amusement arcades? Or a taxi office with a big mast? Sui generis by the way.
The purpose of a neighbourhood centre is to provide facilities for the neighbourhood – shops, doctors, schools, churches – places where people from the neighbourhood use and add to the culture of the area. An hotel does none of those things. Residents will not drop in to a hotel, guests at the hotel will not visit the local area. In fact an hotel adds nothing to the neighbourhood at all.
And that is why hotels are not included in policy RTCS15. And, as you will be aware, that is why no other neighbourhood centre or hatch has an hotel.
“I feel the committee is seriously misdirected by this comment and for this, and the other objections outlined you should oppose this application. Planning Class C is not included in Policy RTCS15.
The meeting will be held at 7.30pm at the Civic Offices, Water Gardens, Harlow.
Simon Carter makes reference to 'over 300' objections, asserting that the panel 'must pay careful attention to the depth and volume of objections'. In fact how many of those objections are on legitimate planning grounds is far more relevant than their sheer weight of number; that remains to be seen. However Cllr Carter's prima facie objection to a class C1 development, outside of the policy RTCS15 provisions specifically by omission, is absolutely on point. The development does not fall within the range of development classes implicitly supported by the relevant planning policy, and should be refused on those grounds alone.
Can't win with this lot can you? They say they want jobs for local people in the area then when an opportunity arises for that, they slap it down. Bit of nimbyism creeping in here too I think, as objecting to a building because of what it looks like is a cloaked excuse. How does he know people from the local area won't use the hotel? I would imagine that some people in the area have family get togethers and could use the hotel as extra accommodation, similarly if they have let's say a wedding or a party. And as for people staying at the hotel not using the local area, Church Langley ain't exactly Piccadilly Circus. They'd have to go into town for more of a selection of restaurants etc.
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