BUCKS: Government reject Marlow lagoon appeal
10:14am Wednesday 7th January 2009 in Latest News
A plan to dig a new lagoon which will mean an extra 30 lorries a day travelling through some of Marlow's major roads will go ahead after an appeal to the government was thrown out.
The application by Harleyford Marina in Henley Road, Marlow, was approved by Buckinghamshire County Council in October 2008.
The work involves transporting 60,000 tonnes of gravel over a two-and-a-half to three year period.
As many as one lorry every 12 minutes could carry the material along the A4155 to the Lafarge industrial plant in Little Marlow, passing through West Street and Spittall Street – both roads that are narrow and heavily congested.
Marlow Town Council, which was strongly opposed to the idea, took the unusual step of asking the secretary of state for Communities and Local Government, Hazel Blears, to step in.
It wrote to the Government of the South East (GOSE) seeking an article 14 direction, to re-examine the planning application.
However, the government department has rejected the appeal.
Elisabeth Adlington, Communities and Local Government spokesperson said: "Local authorities have responsibility for day-to-day planning control and are usually best placed to make decisions relating to their areas - less than 0.01% of all planning cases are called in. "A case is considered to have more than local significance if it triggers one or more of the call-in criteria such as conflict with national policy, or if it causes national or regional controversy."
Marlow Town Council clerk Howard Bellairs said: “They didn't see any reason to stop it.
“One of the problems is that it's not our application area and we are restricted in what objections we can make.
“The county have taken the objection into consideration but didn't feel they were sufficient. We're disappointed at the outcome.”
Cllr Roger Wilson, chairman of the planning committee, said: “I'm extremely disappointed with the decision, obviously.
“It's going to be appalling quite frankly, to have lorries trundling through the streets every 12 to 13 minutes.
“If we have Waitrose being redeveloped at the same time in some form or other then the traffic impact on Marlow and its properties will be horrendous.
He said, although it would be “a last gasp resort” he hoped to challenge whether Buckinghamshire County Council had followed the correct procedure because he said the town council were not alerted about the application.
However, Buckinghamshire County Council said they had received a letter dated September 18 acknowledging notification of the application.
No Marlow councillors turned up to the county council meeting, saying either they had not been made aware of it or had prior engagements.
Derek Done, member of the Marlow Society executive and former chairman of the planning and development committee at Wycombe District Council, said: “I must admit I was always very sceptical whether that bit of legislation would apply.
“It always struck me that it was just to slow things down.
“The only thing now is to keep the pressure up on the Buckinghamshire County Council to make sure the conditions that were imposed are enforced.
“I think it's passing the buck to say no one told them, if the Marlow Society can find out then the town council can.”