Wealden council snubs wounded solider

January 28, 2009 9:37 AM

A truly disgraceful story from the Express today (not online, page 22 for reference) perfectly describes the inhumane, bureaucratic nature of local government at its worst.  Wealden council have rejected a planning bid for a grandfather to build a specially designed bungalow for his grandson on his own property.  Why is it specially designed – because Joe Townsend, a Royal Marine, lost both his legs to a landmine fighting for all of us in Afghanistan a year ago.


The report explains that neighbours to the property expressed not a single objection and yet soulless council officers rejected the plans as “intrusive” and heartless councillors decreed that the case wasn’t “exceptional” enough to waive planning rules. 


Not “exceptional” enough?  Christ, this man fought for his country.  How can the council turn down a planning application on private property, which received no complaints, for a war veteran?   


Sadly, by six votes to five on the planning committee, the proposal by Cllr. Niki Oates to “damn the rules” was defeated – giving a slap in the face to such a brave young man.


Here’s how you can help and get Wealden council to overturn its decision.  Write to the leader of the council, Cllr Pam Doodes: cllr.pam.doodes@wealden.gov.uk.  Tell her how disgraceful this decision is and politely ask them to think again.  They’re public servants after all and frankly, councillors opposing this should show some deference to a real public servant who has put his life on the line for the security and safety of us all.

A truly disgraceful story from the Express today (not online, page 22 for reference) perfectly describes the inhumane, bureaucratic nature of local government at its worst.  Wealden council have rejected a planning bid for a grandfather to build a specially designed bungalow for his grandson on his own property.  Why is it specially designed – because Joe Townsend, a Royal Marine, lost both his legs to a landmine fighting for all of us in Afghanistan a year ago.


The report explains that neighbours to the property expressed not a single objection and yet soulless council officers rejected the plans as “intrusive” and heartless councillors decreed that the case wasn’t “exceptional” enough to waive planning rules. 


Not “exceptional” enough?  Christ, this man fought for his country.  How can the council turn down a planning application on private property, which received no complaints, for a war veteran?   


Sadly, by six votes to five on the planning committee, the proposal by Cllr. Niki Oates to “damn the rules” was defeated – giving a slap in the face to such a brave young man.


Here’s how you can help and get Wealden council to overturn its decision.  Write to the leader of the council, Cllr Pam Doodes: cllr.pam.doodes@wealden.gov.uk.  Tell her how disgraceful this decision is and politely ask them to think again.  They’re public servants after all and frankly, councillors opposing this should show some deference to a real public servant who has put his life on the line for the security and safety of us all.

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