Firstly both Andrew and I wanted to thank you for your support. Whilst we are not surprised by the level of concern, it is reassuring that so many people have e- mailed us offering to help. We will obviously utilise as many people in our quest, but for the time being we are attempting to maintain a little bit of command and control to ensure we can effectively co-ordinate our approach (We are not control freaks, honestly!!!!!)
Secondly we are making progress in our quest to halt this ridiculous planning application.
• I think it is fair to say that we have raised the profile among residents here in Chesters Wood! Residents in Lumley Thicks have been targeted and have objected, whilst we are also in the process of informing residents further afield in the Fence Houses and Bournmoor areas. Please spread the word and ask friends, colleagues and family to object in writing or by the planning application website- the more objections we get, the more seriously we will be taken.
• A number of people have spoken to the Head teacher at Woodstone Primary School and have requested that the Governing Body put their concerns in writing. I expect a response from him in the next couple of days.
• I and others have spoken to both the local councillors’ today- they are now fully briefed. Audrey Willis has promised to give her full support and has today written to the Planning Officer to strongly outline her concerns. She is also prepared to come along to any meetings we may organise. Alan Bell is aware of our feelings but as he is a member of the planning committee cannot offer an opinion in case this jeopardises his vote during the actual planning meeting.
• The planning application was going to be authorised under what is called delegated authority or powers. Basically this means that the planning application would have been supported by the planning officer and simply passed to the planning committee for approval without any challenge. However as a result of our discussions with local councillors this has been changed so the full proposal will now need to be discussed at the planning committee meeting so we will be able to air our views and concerns in person. Not only does this give us an opportunity to be present now, it clearly lets the planning team know that this application is not as straightforward as they first thought- our first success!
• Both Andrew and I are going to present at the Parish Council this week so we can further raise the profile locally.
• I have produced a press release which I will send out to local media outlets tomorrow; however we have already attracted interest from the Journal as one of our other residents (thanks Ian!) has contacted them directly as well as the Sunderland Echo so I will follow up these links as well.
• We are planning to hold a meeting early next week. We are trying to book the meeting around Audrey Willis diary - our preference is Monday evening but once we have a date confirmed and venue we will let people know by leaflet drop as well as via our new bloghttp://www.woodstonevillage.com
• We will update the blog when we have any further news but please continue to email the firstname.lastname@example.org account should you wish to contact us. You can add your comments to any of the articles on the blog and we will pick this up. You will also be updating your fellow objectors.