Press Release: September 28TH 2018
Campaign Group Keep Penrith Special obtains Legal Opinion that Eden District Council’s Masterplan Consultation:
‘falls woefully short of the legal requirements of a valid consultation process’.
On 10th September 2018 Eden District Council launched a public consultation exercise into the “Penrith Strategic Masterplan: A Vision to 2050”. This Masterplan envisages doubling the size of Penrith by building a New Town/Series of Garden Villages on high ground behind Penrith’s iconic Beacon and building on the Beacon itself.
Keep Penrith Special, formed to oppose the Masterplan has obtained a Legal Opinion from Zach Simons of the leading set of London Planning Barristers Landmark Chambers that in the Opinion of Mr Simons:
- The Masterplan falls woefully short of the legal requirements of a valid consultation process; and
- The surrounding documentation and – in particular – the online questionnaire imply that other options have now been ruled out of account without consultation, and that the principle of development in this broad location has already been
The 7 page Opinion (attached) analyses the legality of the Masterplan Consultation.
On Thursday 20th September Eden District Council’s Scrutiny Committee refused to accept questions from the Spokesman for Keep Penrith Special (Adrian Hill) and Members threatened to have the Spokesman removed for making a statement about the unfairness of the Consultation before the Scrutiny Committee Meeting started.
Keep Penrith Special has obtained 1,258 signatures for its Petition (92% with a local CA postcode) against the Masterplan since launch on the 10th September. The group are also campaigning off line and are sending information to every household in the area asking them to sign the Petition.
Adrian Hill Spokesman for Keep Penrith Special said:
“We told Eden District Council (EDC) their Consultation was unfair. EDC attempted to ignore us and refused to allow our questions to the Scrutiny Committee on 20th September. EDC subsequently agreed to provide answers by Friday 21st September. A week later we still await their response.
We now have a Legal Opinion from a Leading Planning Barrister that it is unfair and does not comply with the legal requirements for a valid consultation. We want to know what EDC plan to do. Withdraw this unfair and unbalanced
consultation which is hugely unpopular in the area, or persist with pedalling it to the people of the District in the knowledge that it is does not comply with the law?
We are asking this question at the next meeting of the Executive of the Council where the public are allowed to ask questions. On past form we had rather expected to be turned away from asking questions on technicalities, but on this occasion we have in fact been allowed to ask our questions. We hope we will get clear unambiguous answers from EDC.’’
The next meeting of the Executive of Eden District Council where the public can ask questions and where the press can attend is on 2nd October 2018 at 6pm at The Town Hall, Penrith.
A copy of the Legal Opinion is attached to this press release.
Links are provided to information on Zach Simons and Landmark Chambers http://www.landmarkchambers.co.uk/zack_simons
Links are also provided to the Keep Penrith Special website. Please click through to the Petition. http://keeppenrithspecial.org
There is also a Facebook page @keeppenrithspecial
The Eden District Council Consultation can be found at http://beaconvillages.co.uk/
About Keep Penrith Special Campaign
Keep Penrith Special launched an online petition on 10th September against EDC’s Penrith Masterplan. Links to the petition can be found at www.keeppenrithspecial.org. More than 1,000 people have signed the petition since the launch. More than 92% are CA postcodes and overwhelmingly dominant are postcodes from Eden District. The population of Penrith itself is 15,500.
The Campaign has been launched because we believe the People of Eden and Penrith deserve better. We want a proper grounded, sensible, practical plan to make Penrith a better place to live, work, shop and visit and we want to get everyone to contribute their thoughts in building that plan.
- Build on the Beacon – NO
- New Town/Villages 2.5 Miles from Penrith – NO
- Double Population – NO
- More Congestion – NO
- More Pressure on Local NHS – NO
- More Pressure on Schools – NO
- Major roads on every side of Penrith – NO
- Affordable Housing for Locals – YES
- A Better Vision for Penrith & Eden – YES
For further information please visit www.keeppenrithspecial.org or if you would like to speak to the Keep Penrith Special Group, please contact Adrian Hill on 07831810467 or firstname.lastname@example.org