Planners slammed over hotel appeal

PUBLISHED: 15:00 03 December 2010

(c) Adam Gault

ELECTED planners are ‘more interested in their next coffee than the next proposal they inspect’, according to a frustrated developer.

Colin Gray and business partner Steven Cooney won an appeal last week to overturn North Somerset Council’s refusal for flats at the Lynton House Hotel in Madeira Road.

But the pair lost in their bid to get the unitary authority to pay their legal fees, which Mr Gray claims run into the thousands of pounds.

This week Colin’s father, David, who works with his son and Steven, and manages security for the closed hotel, hit out at the councillors on the west area committee who refused the application.

He said: “We bent over backwards to follow what the planning officers said we should do, but still the councillors on that committee refused the application.

“They were going round inspecting the planning applications before them, but were really more interested in their next coffee than the next proposal.

“It was all very frustrating for me and Colin and Steven, who now have to take a big hit in the pocket despite being successful in overturning their decision.

“The costs and time wasted were massive, all because the councillors would not follow their own qualified officers’ opinion on granting permission.”

As reported in last week’s Mercury, The Planning Inspectorate backed the pair’s appeal against North Somerset Council for the building of 41 apartments.

It came almost a year after councillors turned down the plans for the derelict hotel, which was badly damaged by fire two years ago.

Going against their officers’ recommendations, they said the four-storey building would be overbearing and represent overdevelopment. But planning inspector Dianne Wride disagreed.

She said the proposal was unlikely to cause any significant impact on neighbouring properties and its size was in line with neighbouring businesses.

But the inspectorate threw out an application by the developers’ for their legal costs to be paid for by the council. The decision was unusual, as often the losing party is ordered to pay its own and the winning side’s costs.

More from Weston Mercury

Police have launched an appeal to identify a man in connection with a criminal damage incident which took place in Weston.

Read more
52 minutes ago

Burnham Medical Centre is undergoing a major makeover.

Read more

Young carers in North Somerset got the chance to showcase their creative skills by redesigning a party space.

Read more

A father from Winscombe was sentenced to more than three years in prison for a knifepoint robbery of a Weston shop.

Read more

Burnham and Highbridge Town Council have appointed a new town clerk.

Read more

A father ‘struggled’ to care for his son without support for 20 weeks after North Somerset Council failed to provide him with adequate information about carer’s assessments.

Read more
Yesterday, 23:04

People flocked to Weston on Saturday for a day of alternative therapy, spiritualism and traditional crafts from around the world.

Read more
Yesterday, 18:00

Pupils turned out in droves, sporting yellow ears and eye patches, in support of Children in Need.

Read more
Yesterday, 17:23

A Weston boy, who has been long been hailed as an inspiration to children suffering from bullying, has added another prestigious prize to his collection.

Read more
Yesterday, 16:23

Weston boss Marc McGregor has hailed the performance Tom Llewellyn in the Seagulls’ defeat at Welling United, after the teenage starlet marked his first league start with a stunning goal.

Read more

Most Read News

Read Online

Read the Weston Worle and Somerset Mercury e-edition E-edition

Local Weather



max temp: 8°C

min temp: 0°C

Useful Links

Advertise in the paper
Submit a Story
Subscribe to the paper
Send Your Letters
Order Photos
Family notices
Reader Travel

Family Notices 24

Newsletter Sign Up

Weston Mercury twice-weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Show Job Lists