The following concerns one man's fight, Anthony Roberts, with bureaucracy detrimentally affecting his business.
[It can also be found at http://www.bullyboys.co.uk ]
This blog is about a major issue I have with PDC and LCC, a developer and two multi nationals - Lidl and T K Maxx.
Not one of them have considered my long standing business, they appear not to care less!
LCC illegally sited the traffic signals opposite the entrance to my business some years ago (see Sanderson’s Highway Consultants letter) during the development of North Valley Retail Park.
The only excuse they could offer was that my gate must have been closed when the road was surveyed and they failed to notice the entrance.
I did not and do not accept this excuse and believe to be untrue.
After much correspondence and getting no satisfactory answers, I asked via the Freedom of Information Act to see the Road Safety Audit for the North Valley Retail Park development - a legal requirement for any development such as this.
LCC replied saying that they had either lost or misplaced the document in question!
Later they finally admitted they were out of order and promised to remedy the problem during the expected development of Glen Mill (see e-mail from Simon Bucknel - Highways Engineer and LCC representative).
I took LCC at their word but they have reneged on their promise and totally betrayed my trust. LCC regularly refuse to answer my correspondence, the reason being, in my opinion, that they have no answers - only excuses!
PDC were desperate for the development of Glen Mill at any cost.
They went ahead and passed the planning application with no consideration at all for my 30 year established business.
PDC Planning Dept misinformed the Planning Committee in their report despite the fact that I had pointed out to them a number of inaccuracies in same.
They replied to me in their usual political type letter but refused to address their inaccuracies.
A Planning Lawyer I employed also brought to their attention a number of illegalities which they completely ignored (see C Lord, Planning Lawyer letter).
The Planning Lawyer’s advice to me was that the application could only fail as it was littered with errors and irregularities and was not legal. Most of the Councillors on the Planning Committee ignored my request for help.
The only concession made to me by the Planning Committee was a condition for the moving of the entrance to my business which was to be positioned further away from the traffic signal’s stop line.
The planning committee recognised that there was a real issue with the position of the traffic signals in relation to my entrance and made a democratic decision to place a condition on the approval, requiring the developer to provide a dropped kerb and move the entrance accordingly.
I waited for the alterations to commence but nothing happened.
I asked Pendle Planning when I could expect the works to begin only to be told that they had removed the committee’s democratic condition!
I enquired for what reason but they refused to give me an answer. As the condition was not going to cost either PDC or LCC a single penny piece, it leads me to believe in my opinion that their actions were purely vindictive.
When my situation was brought to the developer’s attention (Giles Saint John Berry - Citypark) and he was informed of the history of my case, he said it was ‘criminal’ but not his concern, even though it was HIS development that was making things much, much worse for my 30 year established business.
Lidl representative Paul Mason came to see the situation for himself. He acknowledged there was a problem and said he would investigate it further and come back to me with a solution. I am still waiting!
LITTLE SURPRISES! EVERY LITTLE DOESN’T HELP!
LIDL APPEAR NOT TO CARE LESS!
T K MAXX, WHOM ARE SOON TO OPEN A STORE ON THE SITE ARE ALSO AWARE OF THE PROBLEM AND THEY ALSO APPEAR NOT TO CARE LESS!!!!!!!!!!!!
The process of developing the site was a nightmare for me and my business causing major disruption, particularly through the summer of 2015.
Allegedly, it was entirely at Lidl and the developer’s request that Hanover Street was completely closed off for a period of 8 days in August (see pictures).
In that time we did not see one single customer.
LCC gave permission for this without so much as a thought for my business and knowing that it would be a real problem for me, but I feel they just don’t care! LCC refused to communicate with me at all during this time.
Is it fair that a small family business should be forcibly shut down so a large multi-national can progress with it’s development and mass global expansion?
Pendle Council have blocked us from their twitter feed.
They have also refused to answer a ‘Freedom of Information’ request !!!
Is this what they call democracy?
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