Wealden councillors have reacted to what they consider to be a “thoroughly confused, ill-informed and misleading” statement by one of the district’s parish councils.
Elected members say that a website and social media post in the name of Buxted Parish Council is “unhelpful” as well as “inaccurate” and accuse the poster of being politically-motivated.
“While we welcome and maintain constant dialogue with all our parishes, this kind of underhand and mischievous public outburst is not in the best traditions of local councils”, says Wealden’s council leader Ann Newton.
“Members of Buxted Parish Council will know full well that they only have to pick up the phone or send an email to myself or one of the senior planning team at Wealden for a full, frank and honest answer to any question”, adds Cllr Newton.
The row has erupted over recent planning applications where the parish council suggested rejection but which, after lengthy discussion by the cross-party Wealden planning committee, permission was granted.
“Of course the parish councillors will be disappointed”, says Cllr Newton. “But they will be well aware that members of Wealden’s two planning committees are not afraid to reject our officers’ recommendations, even when the odds are against us and we end up in front of a planning inspector during an appeal.”
The parish council has made various allegations in its Facebook post which Wealden District Council’s leader refutes. “This is neither the right nor the best way to engage in the democratic process”, says. Cllr Newton.
“Despite the various accusations, let me assure everyone that each and every planning application is considered on its own merits and our officers work diligently within the National Planning Policy Framework and the myriad other statues to present a balanced view to the relevant planning committee.”