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A representation from a member of the public has been received questioning a statement in our last minutes about Tiphereth’s proposals. This raises several important points which merit clarification.

  1. For the avoidance of doubt, the statement was a true and accurate minute of our proceedings.

  2. Our correspondent disagrees with the Colinton Community Council (ColCC) view expressed that neighbouring properties would be minimally affected by the design.

Clearly, immediate neighbours are always ‘maximally’ affected by proposals - whether for good or ill. ColCC’s conversation concerned only adverse effects, and the minute could have made that clearer.

As ColCC’s judgement is at variance with our correspondent’s, it is important we are all very clear about our responsibilities and our own current policies in relation to planning issues of this type. We must also communicate them as clearly as possible to the community at large.

  1. ColCC has a duty to reflect the opinions of our community or significant groupings within it.   Generally this will be judged by the amount of representation we receive.

  2. As a statutory body ColCC can make direct representations within the planning process, but this will normally only be justified in matters concerning the community at large or significant groups within it (e.g. large employers). 
     
  3. Unless there is a very clear reason, current ColCC policy is not to become involved in planning issues involving neighbour to neighbour disagreement.   (For example house extensions involve balancing the rights of owners to enjoy their property against the effects on their neighbours or the community at large.)

  4. It is ColCC’s policy to advise residents about the planning system, explain their rights under it and how to make their case, irrespective of our view of its merits.

  5. All individuals have a right to make representations direct to the planning authority, which can be disregarded if they are not planning matters.   A wide range of policies published by the City Council (including detailed advice on extensions) will be the first yardstick applied.

(NOTE: Planning matters can be very sensitive and divisive.   Community Councillors are reminded that when talking to members of the public they have a duty to make it absolutely clear whether they are expressing their own views or those of ColCC.)

Tom McDonald

Chair

Colinton Community Council