The JEP have been adding articles and updates on line and today in the paper they report on the Corporate Services Scrutiny Hearing which we mentioned on Friday.
The Planning Department refute the JDC’s statement that tree clearance on site does not constitute development. The JEP report
that the CEO of Planning, Andy Scate, confirmed to the Panel that development has begun. This is contrary to the promise made by the Chief Minister, that development would not start until pre-lets had been signed.
But for us to take the case to Planning, this breaking of the top political promise was not enough. Planning only deal in planning matters, not political promises. We had to tackle the planning conditions, and we had to find witnesses to ‘out of permitted hours’ working using noisy plant. You obliged!
The situation now is that Planning have launched a formal investigation and will no doubt report in due course.
It is sad that the first foray onto the site of what the JDC hope will be the International Finance Centre was done with no consultation with or warning to the public, no advertising in advance and (we maintain) in breach of the relevant Planning condition. It was certainly done in breach of the fundamental political promise made by the Chief Minister and this is probably the most unsettling aspect about the whole sorry mess.
The Chief Minister must feel let down by the JDC. No amount of wishing that the ‘public spat ‘would stop will change the fact that the JDC have lost any trust that the public may have had in them or the project. We also wonder if they disregard one condition, how many others will they ignore when it comes to excavating the hazard waste beneath the car park?
The JEP series of articles, pictures and a video by Chris Brown is available here.