Wednesday, 11 August 2010

Memo to Tower Hamlets Planning

LB Tower Hamlets website page - for accessing Planning Database

MERA gets involved with looking at a lot of planning applications and applications for approval of details relating to planning conditions for the Eric & Treby Estate redevelopment.  HOWEVER we have lots of diffculty finding planning applications on the planning database UNLESS we know the case reference number of the application or the "secret address code" for accessing them.

How local residents get told about planning applications

If you live very near to the address of a planning application you have to be notified about the application by letter - and the Council should write to you.  However not everybody gets sent a letter.  The Planning Department's notion of "who needs to know" (which is quite tightly defined) and our experience of "who needs to know" are sometimes very different. 

All objectors to planning applications who have asked to be kept informed also get sent letters whenever another one is posted seeking approval for conditions.  These letters give the case number reference code of the application.

So HOW can you find out about planning applications which affect your property if you don't get a letter?

In theory, you can look up your street name or post code and find all planning applications which affect your property. Except this isn't quite the way it actually works in practice

Anybody who wants to know should be able to access any planning applications relevant to their area by looking them up online via the planning database.

HOWEVER There is no scope within the Planning Application Database to recognise planning applications which affect a large area and several streets.

It's not actually possible to access planning applications by address as suggested.  That's because, despite the nature of planning applications received, the database is extraordinarily parochial and can only list ONE ADDRESS for each application.  This means that even if a planning application affects several streets these will not be identified on the planning database as being affected

When raised with the Planning Department initially (when all estate redevelopment planning applications were listed under Treby Street only) the response was to create a whole new planning identity called "The Eric and Treby Estate" - which is an improvement - EXCEPT that this cannot be found via a search of the the address based part of the Planning Database!

MERA thinks the residents of Mile End should be entitled to the same quality of access to planning applications as all other residents of the borough - where planning applications affecting their street get listed on the database by street name.

We think the basic standard should be:
  • planning should not assume that everybody with a "need to know" has access to the planning case reference number 
  • every planning application affecting a large area and several streets should ensure that ALL these streets are referenced on the planning database
  • all streets affected by a redevelopment should list ALL the relevant planning applications
This email has been sent to Tower Hamlets Planning Department.
From: Mile End Residents Association
To: Tower Hamlets Planning Department

Why are local residents living in Mile End denied ready access online - as required by e-government - to planning applications which affect them?

Why is "The Eric and Treby Estates, Mile End, Treby Street, London" not listed as an address on the Council's Planning Database under "e" or "t" in the alphabetical section of the database?  Many of the estate roads on the Eric and Treby Estate are not recognised at all by the Planning Applications despite having numbered construction sites in them which relate to the current redevelopment.

If "The Eric and Treby Estates, Mile End, Treby Street, London" is put in as a search term (ie if you already know this is what you have to look for) it brings up all the numerous planning applications relating to the Eric & Treby Estate run by EastendHomes and associated decisions - including planning conditions.

We note that there are also a number of addresses which are "estates roads between (name of road) and (name of road)" which are listed under "e"

So why is "The Eric and Treby Estates, Mile End, Treby Street, London" missing from the alphabetical listing since it is obviously recognised by the planning applications database?
Mile End Residents Association
MERA - website | MERA - blog | MERA on Twitter | MERA on Flickr
PS  If you want to know about all the current planning applications and applications for approval of details for the Eric & treby estate take a look at the Redevlopment Page at the top of this blog - where they are all listed - with numbers, descriptions and links to further details

No comments:

Post a Comment

We welcome comments however please note:
* All comments are MODERATED prior to publication (which means they are unlikely to be published straight away)
* Spam is NEVER published


Related Posts with Thumbnails