Council regrets costly 'administrative error'


Cheshire East Council has admitted that it did not submit a statement within the required timeframe during an appeal over a car wash planning application because of an administrative error.

As reported last week, Cheshire East Council lost an appeal against their refusal to grant planning permission for the change in use of a former petrol filling station to a hand car wash and valet business.

Shines appealed to the Planning Inspectorate over the committee's refusal of their plans at the site of the former Kings Arms Service Station on Alderley Road in Wilmslow.

As well as winning their appeal, the company was awarded full costs because the Council failed to submit a statement in support of its reasons for refusing planning permission within the given timescales. The Planning Inspectorate said that this failure amounted to "unreasonable behaviour on the Council's part" which resulted in "the appellant incurring unnecessary and wasted expenditure".

Councillor Ainsley Arnold, Cheshire East Council cabinet member for housing, planning and regeneration, said: "The council regrets that due to an administrative error that a statement was not submitted within the required timeframe.

"A statement was submitted late but rejected by the inspectorate, although the appeal inspector was fully aware of the reasons for refusal by the council.

"After visiting the site and considering objections from local residents, the inspector did not feel that the car wash would be out of character with the surrounding area and would not have a significant impact on highway safety. The appeal was therefore allowed.

"It is not known at this time how much the council will have to pay in costs."

Alderley Road, Car Wash, Planning Applications


Here's what readers have had to say so far. Why not add your thoughts below.

Dale Longworth
Thursday 8th February 2018 at 6:58 pm
Absolutely pathetic! None of these clowns would last a minute in the real world. And we get to pay them 6% more this year! Sack the lot & start again.
Bob Jones
Thursday 8th February 2018 at 7:46 pm
Would Councillor Arnold care to let us know:-

1 Who is accountable for this costly “administrative error”?

2 What measures are in place to prevent a reoccurrence ? (Hopefully not another costly independent enquiry.)

3 How heavy an appeals load CEC was under at the time of the “error”?

No doubt this information is far too sensitive for mere tax payers to be told!
Oliver Romain
Thursday 8th February 2018 at 10:47 pm
The word is S O R R Y not ‘regret’. I
Dave Cash
Friday 9th February 2018 at 2:18 am
However much they have to pay should be excluded from subs C Tax increases and a similar sum freely granted to WTC coffers.
Alan Brough
Friday 9th February 2018 at 10:03 am
Once again, the Council "regrets" but doesn't apologise.

But then again CE's attitude is that it's not REAL money, it's just taxpayers money....and they can simply take more wherever and whenever they need to!
Nick Jones
Friday 9th February 2018 at 11:55 am
It would be real money Alan if it came directly from the pockets of those responsible !,
not our pockets coughing up more council tax to allow this underperformance and fiscal incompetence to continue.
Pete Taylor
Friday 9th February 2018 at 3:38 pm
The Planning Department appears to be a law unto itself. Perhaps there should be an investigation, the Head of Planning could be suspended (as a “neutral measure”) until the investigation concludes in maybe 9 months.
The budget has already been put in place to cover this- £750k if I recall correctly.
Nick Jones
Friday 9th February 2018 at 4:56 pm
.. and another investigation mentioned yesterday where CEC wont confirm who its in relation to... what are the chances of it being 1) Planning 2) Contracts 3) Incompetence ?..answers on a post card please to 'we do what we want' Westfields Sandbach
Vic Barlow
Wednesday 14th February 2018 at 4:21 pm
We will all get a great opportunity to voice your opinion on the performance of this Tory led council at next year's elections.

Do you want more of the same or will you vote for change?

Nick Jones
Wednesday 14th February 2018 at 5:15 pm
Vic... The time has come for you to stand !!
Barbara Scott
Thursday 15th February 2018 at 9:06 am
The person that made the error should pay out of his own pocket, why should council tax payers, pay for his/hers mistake. If they paid it themselves they wouldn't make the same mistake again.
Pete Taylor
Thursday 15th February 2018 at 12:01 pm
I’m not convinced it was a mistake.
Simon Worthington
Thursday 15th February 2018 at 3:55 pm
The guilty party should be identified whoever they are and put through a stringent disciplinary process. Maybe its also about time for criminal charges to be considered.
Moving on - hopefully the council will pay close attention to this vexatious applicant and ensure that ALL health and safety and planning requirements are met, all employees are exactly that and not "self-employed" on low pay in order to claim huge benefits (as The Big Issue scam operates), comprehensive insurance is in place and waiting cars blocking the highway are moved on.