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Planning to influence?

John CoombesFyldes Council leader, John Coombes,  wouldn't go to Defend Lytham's  public meeting on Lytham Quays in case he heard something that might unduly influence his judgment about Kensington's planning application to build their own version of Disneyland at Lytham. 

Now, having heard his own planning committee quite properly refuse Fylde Primary Care Trust's plan to build yet another of their beloved industrial health processing units within the Kensington site, he is quoted (in the Gazette of 9 Sept) as saying the planning committee is making "wrong decisions", and that "Certain members have to let go a little bit and realise that we pay officers to be up to date on planning legislation and give us professional advice". 

So much for not being subject to undue influence

This is the same man who, on learning that two senior planning officers were leaving Fylde, was quoted as saying "These two fantastic members of staff will be missed"

One of the officers concerned was a leading light in the highly unpopular modernisation of St Annes Square, and is responsible for recommendations to support the destruction of much of our town's heritage with apartment blocks that have been approved left, right and centre.

I find it difficult to agree with Councillor Coombes' assessment of the planning staff. 

Given his approach to planning, perhaps the best thing he could do is join the one that is bound for the other side of the world.

Dated 10 September 2005


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