Author: Cyril Richert
The information has been leaked by internal sources: in order to save time and money to reach decisions that have already been made behind closed doors by members of the cabinet, Wandsworth Council has set up an automatic planning report generator to be used by planning officers on some major strategic schemes.
- You can access the tool at the end of our article.
According to the description on the dedicated website (for obvious reason the address was kept confidential by the Council):
This automatic tool aims at saving money to avoid unnecessary time consuming planning tasks while planning applications have already been decided by the Cabinet Members.
This is little surprise for community groups and Societies in Wandsworth, as it has been suspected for a long time. In 2014, they wrote to the Prime Minister, saying:
“However impressive the planning documents are, they are of little value if planning policy and guidance can be ignored by the Council in reaching major planning decisions.
We do not accept that the Council can simply pick and choose which of their recently adopted policies they can apply, and that the valid objections made by residents can be ignored with impunity. We have made repeated requests to the Council to make changes to the way it is implementing its policies, but without success.”
It is in line with the council’s finance spokesman Cllr Guy Senior who declared last month:
“It is through prudent and sensible financial management, with a relentless emphasis on delivering value for money, that we have been able to keep council tax bills to the absolute minimum while providing some of the best-run local government services in the country.”
So far the address is not protected (yet) and everyone can access it:
Before they remove it or protect it with password, feel free to try it and you will see how relevant it has been in recent planning applications!