Planning should not be based on opinion
I was surprised to read in the Gazette (February 23) that council planning officers had used their delegated powers to refuse planning permission for a new shop front on Waterloo Road because the proposed alterations “would not constitute good design”.
I know the area well and the existing parade of shops which contains the property in question (number 199), is, in my opinion, a complete mess. Take a look at the address on street view and see if you agree.
I’ve looked at the planning application (17/0875) and the plans, produced by a professional firm of architectural consultants, look perfectly good to me.
The design seems to be appropriate for the location, a vast improvement on some of the surrounding properties and could act as a stimulus for improvements in the whole terrace.
We all want to ensure that alterations such as this do help improve Blackpool but “good design” is such a vague concept that it shouldn’t be left to some faceless town hall bureaucrat to override the wishes of the property owner, architects and local residents - who had no objections to the proposals.
Planning permission, or refusal, should be based on objective criteria and not left to the opinion of individual council officers.
I hope the council will think again about the way delegated powers are used in small scale planning applications.
Osbourne Road South Shore
Electric cars no good in the cold
As I write this thousands of passengers are stuck in their petrol/diesel vehicles trying to keep warm and safe using their engines, and these engines can eventually be topped up using a fuel can in most cases.
The passengers in electric-only vehicles will rapidly deplete battery life, have no heating, lighting or wipers and the vehicle will become an obstruction until it can be towed away and charged somewhere, (who knows where)! The tailback caused by just a few electric vehicles could be miles long. This is a major flaw in the government’s quest to get us to change to battery power - we cannot control the weather!
A white lie is still always be a lie
It was once ‘lies, dammed lies and statistics’ when it should be ‘the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth’ but this was before the time of fake news.
It is sad to see that the retiring White House communications director, Hope Hicks has admitted that she was at times required to tell white lies. There are no such things as lies of any colour - a lie is a lie. There may be times when answers cannot be supplied for a number of reasons but this should be stated.
The Pinocchios in government must have trouble keeping themselves balanced with the length of their extended wooden noses.
Party politics not helped workers
The party system has given the working man nothing.
All we seem to do is lurch from left to right, there is no forward planning whatsoever.
One party puts forward a scheme and spends millions of pounds, then when the other party gets in, it is scrapped.
This happens on defence spending all the time.
We sell off the family silver, transport, power station, the National Grid, gas, water, then we find that this does not work, because the taxpayer has to subsidise profits for the transport and power generation companies, all or mostly foreign-owned.
So we vote the other party in. They are going to buy all the family silver back? Who pays again? Yes, it’s the working man.
One big merry-go-round.
There should be a 10-year, 20-year and 30-year plan on capital spending, agreed by all parties, and adhered to.
This way money should be spent more wisely.
But what other system is out there? Proportional representation? No big swings from left to right?
As for lobbyists, they should not be allowed anywhere near an MP or councillor. It has taken over 30 years to get a plain packet of cigarettes on to the market and it took even longer for asbestos to be banned. And who pays? Again it’s the working man. Party politics was a good idea at the time, but not any more.