The iron fist in a kid glove

Date: Monday 20th November 2017

AS housebuilding is likely to continue apace in Eden for years to come, it is vital that there remains a harmonious relationship between developers and people who are already living in the areas where, in some cases, hundreds of new homes are being built.

It is encouraging, therefore, that Eden Council has issued some strong words about the responsibilities of developers and the threat of action they face if they do not adhere to conditions surrounding planning permission.

The council is threatening legal action against Persimmon Homes, which is in the process of constructing hundreds of new houses in the Carleton Heights area of Penrith, over its failure to submit a traffic management plan aimed at minimising disruption to nearby residents.

But why, if Eden really wants to get tough, is it allowing the developer four months to comply with the breach of condition notice it handed out this week, rather than enforcing an immediate halt to building work?

This kid glove treatment is at odds with the iron fist brandished by John Thompson, chairman of Eden’s planning committee, who thunders: “We do not tolerate developers breaching their planning requirements.”

The fact that the authority is prepared to potentially allow another four months of a planning breach sends out the wrong message when it needs to combat the perception that large developers have the whip hand in their dealings with it.

As Mr. Thompson says, investment by developers is to be welcomed, but not at all costs.