Miss Marple has had another reply from Cllr Bispham:
From: "Cllr Andrew Bispham"
Date: 13 June 2011 19:03:21 GMT+01:00
To: "Miss Marple"
Subject: Hibbert Lane Site.
Following your e mails at weekend I have asked about the Hibbert Lane site today. As I said at weekend, nothing has changed. The land is designated as housing land and if a supermarket chain were to put in an application for a store, it would, or certainly should be, refused. In addition there is a covenant on part of the site around the gym facilities.
The above notwithstanding, the following is a possible scenario which I have given to residents before.
Assume the site is purchased, a planning application is submitted, and is then refused by Stockport MBC. The applicant would then immediately appeal to the Secretary of State against such a decision as the owner of the site has a right to dispose of it or develop it as they see fit. Having invested heavily in purchasing the site they have an enormous interest in that investment.
The appeal could go two ways. Either the decision is upheld or dismissed.
A) If it is upheld the next step would be the High Court and the case would be decided by the courts.
B) If however it is dismissed, the store chain would then get planning permission from the Secretary of State to do as they wished. Stockport MBC would then in all probability have costs awarded against them for delaying a legitimate application. Not only would you get your store, but as ratepayers, you would have the privilege of paying to build it.
In addition, Stockport MBC would not be able to place conditions on the applicant as they didn't grant permission.
Here are some salient points to the above.
At no time in the above have any local councillors been involved in the procedure.
An application of this sort would never be decided at a local level.
All planning applications succeed eventually. Planning is exactly like playing poker. Only when you give up do you fail.
Planning is an expensive game, barristers, lawyers and planning consultants are not cheap, if an applicant is prepared to spend thousands on winning, then objectors have to be prepared to spend the more to defeat them.
Regards, Andrew Bispham