Tuesday, 11 November 2014
Children with autism not welcome here say Lib Dems
The planning professional's report stated there would be no more traffic than would be expected from a "normal busy domestic family" and the house had "sizeable frontage which can easily accommodate any parking requirements without the need to park on the street". Yet Hedge End, West End and Botley councillors refused permission, saying the young people's support workers driving to the house would cause traffic and parking problems.
Warned that most of the proposed changes to the building did not need planning consent and that the proposed change of use was not a material consideration, Lib Dems nevertheless made clear what they thought at Monday's HEWEB local area committee.
One councillor said it was not appropriate in a quiet residential street. (What sort of street do they want children to live in?)
Another said the applicant should not be converting a normal house, but should move into a purpose-built building. (Why shouldn't children live in a normal house?)
The same councillor criticised the applicant for drawing attention to the children's needs by seeking consent in a public arena. (But five Lib Dem councillors insisted the application was debated in public.)
Another councillor referred to the inconvenience that would be caused to neighbours, and referred to a previous application that had been refused for a pigeon loft as a precedent. (Rather an insensitive comparison.)
The same councillor considered the possibility that the applicant would appeal the decision and summed up with the Clint Eastwood quote: "Go ahead punk, make my day". The councillor was clearly playing to the gallery but it seems Lib Dems are brave against small social care organisations but cave in to the blandishments of big property developers.