Friday, 18 March 2011

Councillors abstain on their own scheme

Three Blackburn & Darwen Councillors last night abstained on a vote on whether to give the go-ahead for demolition of an historic building to make way for a new road. Despite the fact that the scheme was devised and promoted by the Council itself, and despite the fact that before the vote Councillors were given a highly unusual (some might say irregular) presentation by the Council's Highways Department in a clear bid to promote the scheme, the abstaining Councillors felt the project was so badly flawed that they were unable to support it. Amazingly, one of the Councillors backing the scheme appeared unaware, on the day of the vote, that objections had been received - in spite of clear and repeated opposition from English Heritage, The Georgian Group and Blackburn & Darwen Civic Voice. Perhaps he's not reading his agenda papers; or are council officers keeping him in the dark? Either way, ignorance seems a curious basis on which to decide planning applications that involve demolition of nationally listed buildings. We and others are now asking the Government to call in the application for decision by the Secretary of State.

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