Planning blunder cost Town Hall £31k

A WATCHDOG has slammed Bolton Council for “significant failings” in its planning procedures — which led to a £31,500 compensation payout.

The council is having to make the payment to one resident after his neighbour was wrongly granted planning permission for a huge extension.

The two-storey extension in a row of terraced houses in Kylemore Avenue, Deane, blocks sunlight from neighbouring homes, and also prevents residents enjoying the picturesque views of the moors surrounding Bolton.

Officers granted planning permission for the extension without following official planning policies, the Local Government Ombudsman ruled.

The mistake arose when planning officers were told by a manager that previous decisions by councillors should override the council’s policy.

The ombudsman, Anne Seex, said the planning department’s decision “corrupts the proper roles of elected councillors and officials, and represents a significant failing of corporate governance”.

She added: “The council should acknowledge the serious and corrosive nature of the systemic maladministration identified by this investigation.

“It should ensure that all officers and councillors are aware of the public law principles that apply to decisions by public authorities and should ensure planning officers are able to give advice in accordance with their professional opinions and judgements.”

The resident who built the extension declined to comment.

The neighbour who is set to receive compensation, was not available for comment. Following the report by the ombudsman, the council may also have to retract a second planning application, in Mancroft Avenue, Great Lever.

Permission for an extension was granted in 2010 but building is yet to start. Nasim Patel, aged 47, says she needs the extension for her five daughters and a son.

Mrs Patel said: “I have three daughters in one room and two in another.

“Work is about to start.

I did everything in the right way so to be told this now is very upsetting.”

The council could appeal against the ombudsman’s ruling.

A spokesman said: “We have now clarified our policy on household extensions to reflect the expressed views of the planning committee.”

The council refused to say whether disciplinary action would be taken against any planning officers or senior management.

Comments (7)

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4:09pm Mon 30 Apr 12

exiled says...

Why is council tax being wasted on salaries for incompetent employees?
Why is council tax being wasted on salaries for incompetent employees? exiled
  • Score: 0

4:29pm Mon 30 Apr 12

gazzabolton says...

Never mind Bolton council will
HAVE TO CLOSE ANOTHER LIBRARY!!!
Never mind Bolton council will HAVE TO CLOSE ANOTHER LIBRARY!!! gazzabolton
  • Score: 0

7:29pm Mon 30 Apr 12

ownerdriver says...

gazzabolton wrote:
Never mind Bolton council will
HAVE TO CLOSE ANOTHER LIBRARY!!!
or give out even more parking tickets
[quote][p][bold]gazzabolton[/bold] wrote: Never mind Bolton council will HAVE TO CLOSE ANOTHER LIBRARY!!![/p][/quote]or give out even more parking tickets ownerdriver
  • Score: 0

7:47pm Mon 30 Apr 12

gazzabolton says...

They call it affordable housing

this extension should have never been passed, now the public purse has to pick up the tab.
They call it affordable housing this extension should have never been passed, now the public purse has to pick up the tab. gazzabolton
  • Score: 0

11:24pm Mon 30 Apr 12

gazzabolton says...

This extension has knocked at least £10,000 off the price of my house if I was to sell as well as the fact that my views have been blocked by this monstrosity.
This extension has knocked at least £10,000 off the price of my house if I was to sell as well as the fact that my views have been blocked by this monstrosity. gazzabolton
  • Score: 0

4:49pm Wed 2 May 12

hoboh2o says...

Wonder how long it will be before the council planners get sued for the blight of all the supermarkets they keep allowing to be "bunged up"?
Wonder how long it will be before the council planners get sued for the blight of all the supermarkets they keep allowing to be "bunged up"? hoboh2o
  • Score: 0

8:36pm Wed 9 May 12

gazzabolton says...

hoboh2o wrote:
Wonder how long it will be before the council planners get sued for the blight of all the supermarkets they keep allowing to be "bunged up"?
No point voting do what they want anyway knock the market down and build giant supermarket
why bother about the little man
[quote][p][bold]hoboh2o[/bold] wrote: Wonder how long it will be before the council planners get sued for the blight of all the supermarkets they keep allowing to be "bunged up"?[/p][/quote]No point voting do what they want anyway knock the market down and build giant supermarket why bother about the little man gazzabolton
  • Score: 0

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