FOI request (FOIR-393848388)
Lights and other external features on Roebuck House
Requested Mon 17 January 2022
Responded Wed 26 January 2022
Planning decisions have an impact on people's lives and wellbeing and poor processes and outcomes undermine trust and adversely affect the reputation of Hastings Council as an authority that values its residents and its heritage. I intend to continue to pursue this matter until a satisfactory resolution is achieved.
You have not given me the information I have requested to enable me to understand how HBC reached their current position not to enforce against acknowledged infringements.
Further to the e-mail trail below, my understanding from the guidance on the HBC website is that you are required to consider and respond to requests for information (including by e-mail) under the Freedom of Information Act. There is no requirement to use the HBC FOI form.
With that in mind, I ask again for your reasonable consideration and response to my requests below that I sent to you by e-mail dated 16 December 2021:
To help me understand your position I would be very grateful if you could provide me with:
- any transparency regarding the process by which HBC assessed these acknowledged infringements to be 'minor'
- evidence that 'particular care' has been taken to protect heritage assets in reaching your current position (Policy EN1 Hastings Planning Strategy refers)
- justification for HBC acceptance of changes to the consented proposals without public consultation, especially given the historical level and nature of public engagement in proposals for this site
The HBC website says you are required to provide a response within 20 working days which I calculate to expire around now.
In her statement of December 2020, the HBC Conservation Officer said:
4. Boiler flues - Proposals for the boiler flues need to be reviewed to avoid bringing them out onto the High Street frontage. Is it not possible to create a service duct up through the building and site the boiler flues at roof level? Amended proposals required or a reasoned justification for why this is not possible.
This matter has been raised for investigation via my e-mails to Cllr Bacon, including 10 October 2021 (copied to the HBC DC comments inbox) soon after boiler flues had indeed been installed on the High Street frontage. Please provide the 'reasoned justification' that was requested by the Conservation Officer in order to avoid recommendation of refusal. Again, to be clear, I believe this request falls under FOI and a response is therefore long overdue.
The Freedom of Information Act is based on recorded information held by a local authority. It is not tool to ask questions, seek opinions or justifications.
Your request is not asking for recorded information, and therefore falls outside the remit of the Act.
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