It has dramatically emerged from papers published by MK Council this week that the planning service have once again repeated the planning failures that led to the controversial Blakelands Warehouse scandal.
This has heightened tensions among Conservative Councillors who have long been worried that another Blakelands-style planning scandal could still happen due to a lack of improvements.
Papers reveal that MK’s planning service have yet again failed to correctly complete decision notices with 28 decision notices issued with errors, three of which were deficient and had conditions missing within a 6-month period.
And now MK Council have admitted they've lost control of at least one planning application which has zero conditions attached to it, despite numerous being agreed prior to planning permission being granted.
In 2017, these same errors caused the enormous and “oppressive” Blakelands warehouse to be built. It meant residents faced 24-hour warehouse operation just meters from their back gardens, the prospect of 24-hour HGV operation and no noise barriers.
The Conservatives say the planning service has failed and it is in intensive care.
They added that they will be asking very challenging questions at MK Council’s Development Control Committee (DCC) meeting next Thursday and said there is “no getting away from the dramatic failing of this planning service and the administration.”
Cllr Alex Walker, Leader of the Conservative Group, said:
“The Labour and Liberal Democrat administration will not be getting away with this. There is simply no getting away from the dramatic failure of this planning service and the administration that directs it.
The errors shown in the DCC papers show that nothing has changed in the last 4 years, and we are back to square one.
MK’s planning service is in intensive care and only real political leadership, direction and proper resourcing can save it and residents from future scandals that will impact lives.”
At a meeting of Full Council on Wednesday the Conservatives asked Labour Leader and Planning Cabinet Member Cllr Marland if he stood by his comments that the service had made “considerable improvements”. Cllr Marland did and went onto refuse to acknowledge the institutional failings within the service.