Felixstowe: Objectors claim Suffolk Coastal District Council was biased over £2.6m JD Wetherspoon pub plan
- Credit: PA
A council has been accused of bias in the way it handled proposals for a £2.6million new pub and restaurant in a seaside town.
It has been alleged that Suffolk Coastal gave more weight to a few letters supporting the JD Wetherspoon development than it did to dozens of objections urging the authority to reject the application.
Councillors approved the project to replace the old Central Surgery in Felixstowe in line with officers’ recommendations.
Gareth Lomax, whose home in High Road West is opposite the site, has written to the council’s monitoring officer Hilary Slater to lodge a formal objection.
Mr Lomax claimed the council’s planning officers had been “at best unhelpful and at worst obstructive” during the planning process, and he felt the decision in favour of development had been “railroaded”.
You may also want to watch:
He said the council’s website recorded 59 objections and only one supporting comment from all comments received.
However, 38 days after the consultation notice had expired, the planning department posted another supporting comment.
- 1 Supermarket switch opens door to new Ipswich Lidl
- 2 Former Ipswich teacher appears in court charged with historic sex offences
- 3 Well-known Felixstowe bookseller to retire and hand over to vinyl store
- 4 Work finally starts on the Ipswich Garden Suburb after decades of debate
- 5 Man accused of Ipswich stabbing refuses to leave cell to enter plea
- 6 No need to wait for booster invitation - clarification after Covid jab confusion
- 7 Major Ipswich road partially blocked after crash involving Audi and Mercedes
- 8 15-year-old boy to face trial over alleged Ipswich stabbing
- 9 Police want to trace man in connection with Waterfront sexual assault
- 10 'It's like we're in the stone age' - Homophobic abuse halts LGBT+ parties
He said: “The planning officer in charge highlighted this particular document during the hearing, mentioning the reasons for the support from the member of the public.
“In my opinion, the planning officer demonstrated clear bias towards this application, particularly as we are aware of objections being held back while supporting comments (both of them!) were championed.”
A spokesman for Suffolk Coastal said the council took all complaints very seriously. He said: “All officers work to the council’s customer service standards and we will respond, if we do not meet those targets.
“All of our councillors have agreed to observe the Suffolk Code of Conduct, which lays out how they should conduct themselves.”
Complaints are dealt with by the council’s monitoring officer and an independent person appointed by the council, who will decide what further action, if any, should be taken.
Complainants are fully updated on the progress and outcome of their complaint.