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Claims council moved the goalposts on planning application denied
CLAIMS a 'rubbish' planning application was encouraged to be put forward have been dismissed by council bosses.
Proposals for a new storage unit to be built in Westwood Park in Little Chalfont to help the children's football club which uses it were turned down by members of Chiltern District Council's planning committee on Thursday.
But David Rafferty of Little Chalfont Parish Council claimed at the meeting the football club had been given assurances by officers the plans were likely to be given the go-ahead.
And he criticised the district council for wasting people's time and money over the application.
Saying members of the parish council were 'very annoyed', Cllr Rafferty said: "When it was first proposed we advised the applicant to go to a consultation meeting at this council, which he did. The officer looked at it and raised no objections - nothing at all.
"Now we are told by at least one district councillor it's a rubbish application. If this is a rubbish application, it's the fault of this district council. If they had told the applicant when he first came to the consultation, they probably wouldn't have gone ahead.
"It would have saved time and it would have saved you time and money."
But committee chairman Don Phillips hit back, saying: "If an applicant has an application meeting, that doesn't guarantee approval. I don't think anyone has been misled here."
Councillors said they were in favour of the principle of allowing Westwood Park FC the new facility, but said it was in the wrong place.
Coach Alan King said the club now had 250 children aged from five to 14 as members, having only started six years ago.
He said transferring goalposts and other equipment to Westwood Park for matches was proving problematic and was shortening its lifespan, and the new container was needed for storage.
Cllr Peter Martin said: "I fully understand why the football club needs extra storage. I don't think anyone has any dispute with the principle of that.
"It's a very modest application but it's actioned 18 letters of objection. Having read through them, some of the residents feel very strongly about it indeed.
"I agree with many of the points they make, quite frankly. I feel the location they have chosen isn't particularly appropriate. To put it in the corner of a lovely park like this, being next door to a public footpath that's used by lots of people, it's going to look horrible."
Cllr Peter Jones added: "The location is wrong. I don't know why it can't go next to the car park or pavillion, but that hasn't been explained.
"I urge the club to come back with another application. There's nothing wrong with it except where it is."
The plans were unanimously rejected.
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