Inspectors decisions have sadly become more and more legalistic and abtuse. This is uncessary, even for lawyers.
Judge Sally Hickman shows a simple straightforward explanation of reasoning is possible in this family law case, inspectors take note.
Summary after each section
‘what I have to decide’
what each party is seeking
‘what my decision is’
The announcement of a Mayoral Development Corporation around the new Crossrail Station at Old Oak Common has led to a flurry of development interest, not least from QPR who want to a develop a new stadium led development plus 24,000 homes funded entirely by its shareholders including Lascsmi Mittal. Their plan has the support of the Mayor and the Boroughs.
But they have one problem – a used car salesman. Tony Mendes of Car Giant owns 45 acres of the site and is refusing to sell. He has called the QPRE plan ‘”speculative and presumptive”.
What is he playing at? Clearly he has been taking very good professional advice. You see the only way a site could be compulsorily acquired would be for a public purpose. A stadium for QPR is a private interest not a public one. As Car Giant rightly state “In regards to the threat of CPO, there is no legal basis on which to serve a CPO on Cargiant. We are a willing developer,”
Hence the grand planning dodge of the ‘community stadium’ concept which has arisen in recent years, especially but not exclusively in Green Belt sites, after the SoS decision on Brighton’s Stadium and the inspectors findings on private v public interest in the Dulwich Hamlet appeal (where he agreed with my submission on the matter) . The Mayor could plan and CPO for a ‘premier league standard’ stadium but not one for QPRor any specific club, but then would have to open tender the result – and the site would go to richer Chelsea or even possibly Fulham (with different owners maybe), not QPR. Of course if the site were rezoned it could eventually be CPOd at existing use value, but that is a long way off, and if they already got planning permission in the interim for a housing led scheme there would be no grounds at all for a CPO. I guess the next move for Tony Mendes is to call up the Mayor and ask him to participate in a masterplan for the site and the surrounding area, removing all grounds for a CPO.
Sheepskin Jackets all around.
What a mess Strategic Planning in Oxfordshire is.
Rather than an agreed joint approach to reviewing the Green Belt (a strategic review), setting per district targets in local plans and assessing them we have each district working in parallel – with the aim of agreeing – seperately together – which is little more than an agreement to agree.
What it shows is that having a joint SHMA and then cooperating on individual local plans is not enough, what is needed is joint appraisal of options. Compare for example Oxfordshire with Cambridgeshire (which has district by district targets).
The ‘Post SHMA’ work programme is a mess. The key issue is the capacity of Oxford and how much of that overspills to other districts. Oxford have commissioned a independent review of their capacity and have offered joint management. The other districts are now commissioning their own rival reviews. This study will look at the Green Belt within the City boundary but not outside it, so how it can make meaningful assessment of Green Belt purposes (an intrinsically boundary blind and strategic concept) I dont know. Its rats in a sack.
At the board everyone has a local axe to grind and their is no independent strategic overview. A model of how not to do it.