Mayor criticises 'ludicrous' planning glut

PUBLISHED: 14:00 28 January 2012

Axbridge, one of the areas affected

Axbridge, one of the areas affected

Copyright Archant Ltd

A TOWN mayor has criticised Somerset County Council for inundating town and parish councils with consultation documents over the festive period.

Councils received seven of the lengthy documents since October 30, with five received within nine days in December.

Usually the documents have a deadline of six to eight weeks, but one document, concerning the sale of Quantocks land by Somerset County Council, was received on December 21 with a deadline of two days later.

Baz Hamblin, Mayor of Axbridge and town councillor, said: “To have that many in one hit is unacceptable, the short deadlines are not acceptable and over Christmas it is just ludicrous.”

Another two documents had deadlines of a month or less, including a parking strategy consultation.

A Somerset County Council spokesman said: “Any consultations we may have held previously in December have been linked directly to budget decisions made at the Full Council in February. This is specifically the case for the bus survey.

“The other consultations such as the Hinkley Point, minerals and parking consultations were as directed by central government and continue throughout the year. The sale of the Quantock land was not a consultation.

“We hold a number of consultations throughout the year, not only in December.”

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