No wonder some Local Planning Authorities were nervous about their planning committees being broadcast online.
We have been informed that last week, a certain planning committee met online to consider a number of applications. In one application (recommended approval) they identified that the proposal was contrary to adopted policy, but met emerging policy, which is due to be adopted in September having been found essentially sound by the Local Planning Inspector in February. They were advised that they had to give weight to the emerging policy but chose not to.
In another application, the same committee were told that it was contrary to policy but that two other developments had been approved in the same location, and that it met emerging policy. They chose again to refuse on the basis of the same policy, again refusing to give weight to the emerging plan.
The Chair proposed approval. A councillor seconded. Then proceeded to vote against approval. Told this was against standing orders, she changed her vote to approve, as this would result in a 5:4 vote to refuse in any event. Having voted to refuse, they then had to identify grounds for refusal, when she switched her vote, as did another councillor who voted in favour of the application, so they ended up with 7:2 vote for grounds which are patently unreasonable.