Parlour complaints count for nothing

PUBLISHED: 06:15 31 August 2006 | UPDATED: 09:48 24 May 2010

SCORES of letters objecting to a massage parlour in Weston will count for nothing. One hundred residents penned their complaints about Emmanuelle's Massage Parlour in Baker Street to North Somerset Council. But the letters, held by the planning department

SCORES of letters objecting to a massage parlour in Weston will count for nothing.One hundred residents penned their complaints about Emmanuelle's Massage Parlour in Baker Street to North Somerset Council.But the letters, held by the planning department, will count for nothing because they were sent before any planning application for the parlour was registered.One married woman, who lives nearby but who did not want to be identified, said: "Everyone I've spoken to has written a letter and I've spoken to the planning officer who says he has a drawer full of them, all of which are complaints, but none will count."The officer said letters of objection have to be written after the application has been advertised and notices put up."I understand there is only one notice now up and that's hidden behind a van that regularly parks in that spot. Nobody knows what to do and when we ring the council for help we get different advice."There should be something on its website to say how you can make a valid planning objection, but there isn't."The officer I spoke to was very helpful, but he had to go to council officers in Bristol to get advice because he hadn't come across a similar application before and doesn't know the ins and outs of it."A Miss Kilmer has now registered a retrospective planning application to change the property from a dog grooming salon to a massage parlour.A council spokesman said: "The 100 letters were received before the planning application even came in, so can't be considered as part of formal consultation for the planning application, but we are writing back to all the correspondents asking if they want to comment now."We haven't sought any formal information from Bristol City Council but we have approached it informally."We are going to look at our website because we want to be sure people do understand how to make a valid objection."Councillor John Crockford-Hawley has called in the planning application so if officers say permission should be granted, the matter will go to the council's west area committee, probably in September, to make a decision. If officers turn the application down, the committee will not discuss it.Residents are urged to get their comments in as soon as possible. No formal deadline has been set.

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