The idea that the planning website would have …

Comment posted Council planning site crashes in run up to deadline on submissions on Oban transit marina by Robert Wakeham.

The idea that the planning website would have been ‘doctored’ is not credible, and conspiracy theorists should save their efforts for more credible scenarios.

Recent comments by Robert Wakeham

  • Astonishing infrastructural deficiency threatens Oban’s business development
    So you’re one of the ‘can’t be done’ brigade – why not, for goodness sake?
  • Astonishing infrastructural deficiency threatens Oban’s business development
    ‘…no new connections have been allowed for years’ – the ‘can’t be done’ school of thought, so easily criticised from the other side of the pond as a British disease, we need this sort of restriction like a hole in the head..
    This is surely a festering scandal, with Campbeltown, Oban and Dunoon contending with varying degrees of geographical disadvantage in the search for healthy local economies.
    It’s a privatised utility, but for all I know it was the same story before privatisation – and do our governments really have no say when this utility is being managed against the public interest?
    Today the energy utilities are reporting huge rises in their profits, so maybe we need a touch of Greek-style re-nationalisation of energy distribution businesses?
  • Astonishing infrastructural deficiency threatens Oban’s business development
    A touch smug, Mr Stanger – there was a hotel on the site before.
    I don’t know whether you live in Oban, but I always wonder at the extraordinary infrastructural deficit in the Oban road network, with just about all traffic between the north and Oban / southern Argyll being funnelled through the ‘bealach’, no sign of a link road around the inland side of the town and the only thing resembling a bypass being the low-speed single track road of extremely limited capacity (and even less passing places) between Connel and Kilmore.
    Add to this the really remarkable lack of proper pavements on some of the busiest streets, and the quite incomprehensible failure to create a link road from the Glenshellach area through the back of Lochavullin to the Albany Street / Shore Street junction, and you’ve got a picture of catastrophic complacency. Or is it smugness?
  • So what has damaged MV Loch Seaforth been up to?
    I was once sitting out on the aft deck of Western Ferries’ ‘Sound of Jura’, returning from Islay on a summer evening, when the boat unexpectedly performed a complete circle – and Arthur Blue emerged from the engine room door, looked around, scratched his head, and disappeared back down the ladder whence he’d come. We soon continued on our way without further incident – these things happen.
  • Communities Secretary on prompt to intervene with revaluation of Castle Toward
    Goodwill? – Dick Walsh?

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16 Responses to The idea that the planning website would have …

  1. Notwithstanding the above ‘news’ article, it can not be denied there were many against the proposals for a marina in the iconic site between the piers for well documented reasons, some of which featured on here several times. Tha is a fact similarly there are many for the dvelpoment in that location.

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  2. Call me cynical, but I would not be surprised if all the comments were lost.

    There are a lot of mysteries surrounding this application.

    ~ Why was it necessary to scrap all comments on the previous (virtually identical) application?

    ~ Why were previous commenters informed by letter rather than e-mail?

    ~ Why did it (in my case anyway) take two weeks from the time the letter was dated to it being delivered, so that it arrievd towards the end of the 28 day consultation period with only a few days left?

    ~ Is it coincidence that the server collapsed on a Monday morning when staff arrived to find an influx of positive comments on the application?

    ~ Why at midday Tuesday – the last day for consultation – is it still impossible to comment?

    ~ There were 117 public comments on this application last time I looked. Will they all be there when/if the site is restored?

    ~ In view of the server downtime will additional time for consultation be granted?

    Given the Council’s previous history of chicanery and manipulation involving any proposals for a marina in Oban, I think this whole matter needs careful looking at.

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  3. Crazy,

    There were 100 submissions made over the weekend. I have every reason to believe that the vast majority of these were in support of the application.

    It would be nice to think that this is a random database crash, but the consultation period expires in a few hours and it would be awfully convenient for those on the Council who have set their face intransigently against any marina for so many years to have all this support just disappear.

    (There is also every reason to believe that, with the word out, more submissions in support would have been forthcoming yesterday and today, which is why even if the data is recovered the consultation period needs to be extended)

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    • The idea that the planning website would have been ‘doctored’ is not credible, and conspiracy theorists should save their efforts for more credible scenarios.

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      • A database server crash is hardly ‘doctoring’ – I just wonder what caused it, and whether or not the data was backed up.

        There have been enough twists and turns in the history of this particular project to provide material for a whole convention of conspiracy theorists.

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  4. If the database is unavailable then the deadline will have to be extended, otherwise the full 28 days has not been made available for comments.

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  5. To be fair, the planning department is usually pretty flexible as regards comment deadlines. In practice they will keep validating comments long after the ‘official’ deadline has expired, though obviously not beyond the point at which the officer’s report is issued. This is usually some time after the deadline, especially in the bigger or more controversial applications.

    I don’t know how the statutory requirements apply to website availability. The plans can still be viewed in the usual places, and comments sent in by letter or email.

    If comments have been lost by the system, that’s obviously another matter.

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  6. I have just been reliably informed that A&BC say they have all comments up to the point where the website went down. They say there were around 120 comments at that point.

    There is a notice outlining an alternative way to submit comments on the ‘ search for a planning application’ page thus:

    Please note: we are currently experiencing problems with our online planning and building standards system. We hope to have this up and running again as soon as possible. We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause. If you would like to make a comment on a planning application, please email us at: centralvalidationteam@argyll-bute.gov.uk . If you are looking for more information on a planning application, please call us on 01546 605518

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    • …and I need to recant what I said at post 7, as the doors have been firmly closed on further comments.

      OK, it seems that the council has written to all commentors yesterday to say that the application has been withdrawn (hence the barring of further comments.)

      It has been re-submitted with a new reference number and a small technical change. All comments received will now have to be sent in again with the new reference.

      PS update – the above is all mince – see post below.

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      • What?

        You are joking aren’t you? This is what happened before and everyone was made to send their comments in again. How many people are going to bother sending them in a 3rd time?

        As far as I can see the site is still up and running and accepting comments – there are now 150 comments.

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        • Webcraft – no joke, but my (and partly your) mistake – your link above connects to the withdrawn application, not the current one.

          Not helped by the council website showing the document date for the withdrawal letters as 25th April, when the letters themselves were dated 5th April…

          Apologies!

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