Democracy and planning councillors

I was surprised and saddened by comments by Graeme Young, the Chief Executive of Scarborough Rugby Club as reported in the Scarborough News (July 19).

I can sympathise with him and all the members of the rugby club over their battle with Scarborough Borough Council planning as I do know from experience what a frustrating battle it can be when trying to get what seems to be reasonable argument acknowledged by planners. I have even witnessed officers of planning chatting between themselves during a meeting when arguments for the side they opposed were being presented.

However, although I can sympathise with the Rugby Club, I feel that I am unable to comment on the merit of their campaign as I do not know the details of their application.

On the other hand, it would appear that Mr Young feels qualified to comment on the Cayton development. Had he been at the last meeting, he would have heard the reasons why those six councillors voted against the scheme. In most cases they were concerned that holding thousands of gallons of contaminated water weighing around 500 tons in pcc pipes and tanks suspended over the aquifer from which most of Scarborough gets its water, is a risk too far; especially as other sites are available in Cayton. The supporting ‘agencies’ are headed by Yorkshire Water. Others just seem to have followed them. Yorkshire Water’s record of ‘expertise’ in Cayton has for many years been atrocious. During periods of heavy rain some residents experience raw sewage backing up their toilet. Yorkshire Water seem unable (or unwilling) to do anything to prevent this happening. Any recommendation by them should therefore be taken with some reservation.

Cayton Residents Action Group is not opposed to development in Cayton, but we feel strongly that no building should be reconsidered on the West Garth site.

To suggest that the six councillors should pay the costs of an appeal is bizarre. The whole object of the planning committee is for members to consider the facts and vote according to what they believe is the merit or otherwise of the application under consideration. It would hardly be considered a democratic vote if members voted according to threats of financial penalties. Hopefully this will be the case at the next meeting to consider this application as we now know that Barratt Homes have re-applied AND appealed!

John D Milligan

Vice chairman

Cayton Residents Action Group

Green Croft Gardens

Cayton