Pending a press release from the council in due course, decoding a restricted minute released on the Planning Committee’s decision on Wednesday 18th December seems to show a necessaarily united determination by officers and elected members to enforce the law.
The issue was the Tree Replacement Notice served by the council on developers Margery Osborne and Thomas Paterson in respect of a site at Cumberland Avenue in Helensburgh which they had, against orders, clearfelled.
The Tree Replacement Notice eventually brought no more than a token response and a defiant one at that.
The detailed instructions of council officers were disregarded, including the planting of bare-root trees, unlikely to survive the winter – an outcome which would obviously have greatly distressed the developers.
This response, best described as a two fingered salute to the planning authority – clearly requires a response from the council, which, in needing to be seen to uphold the law, could not defend anything other than serious action.
Since the matter was a restricted item on the Planning Committee meeting on 18th December, no one knows the content and direction of the planning officers’ recommendations to councillors.
But the bare restricted minute nevertheless shows that those recommendations were accepted; and, since it makes no mention of a vote, appears to signal a unanimous position taken.
This would seem to support hope of a clear stance by the council to see to it that the law is observed by the few as well as by the many and by the even fewer who employ a consultancy owned by a councillor and her husband.
Rather than appear to behave as though this relationship empowers them to ignore planning law, it would behove such clients to be particularly circumspect in taking care not to expose their consultants as their actions have done.
Text of minute
19. TREE REPLACEMENT NOTICE – CUMBERLAND AVENUE
o View the reasons why item 19. is restricted
Report by Head of Planning and Regulatory Services
Consideration was given to a report updating Members on matters in respect of the land covered by TPO 16/04.
Agreed to the recommendations detailed in the report.