Council failed to apply for planning permission before starting park work (From Kidderminster Shuttle)
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Council failed to apply for planning permission before starting park work
WORK to create an arboretum in Bewdley has been put on hold after it became a “shambles” when the correct procedures were not followed, it has been claimed.
A formal request for information to Wyre Forest District Council by town councillor Liz Davies found no planning application for the change of use of the Northwood Lane park had been submitted to the authority. Work, however, had started on the council-owned site last November.
It also revealed that the cabinet had not debated the issue and transfer deeds had not been drawn up.
Work on the arboretum has now been stopped so that all the proper planning applications can be made.
Conservative councillor Ian Hardiman, the district council’s cabinet member for community wellbeing, said future work “will not be undertaken until a meeting with the newly-formed Friends of Northwood Lane is held”.
The Shuttle reported last November that angry town councillors claimed there had been no consultation with them or residents about the plans.
Speaking at a town council meeting on Monday, Independent Community and Health Concern (ICHC) councillor Derek Killingworth, said: “From the beginning I have been angry that this town council and the people of Bewdley have been treated with such disrespect and it’s wrong.
“We have got to do something to make sure that things like this do not happen again.”
Fellow ICHC councillor Mrs Davies added: “The whole thing became a shambles. It’s a pity because what was a good intention has caused a lot of trouble for this council.”
Conservative councillor Dr Jan Adams, a former mayor, said: “We should have been consulted but it’s history. We want this area developed to look beautiful for Bewdley.”
Mr Hardiman added: “The council is delighted with the response from residents to become involved in this development project.
“A meeting will be arranged in the near future.
“The council continues to progress all necessary formalities in respect of all of the work proposed, including the work undertaken to date.”