• Mark Cant

Planning Committee report - Dunstable Town Council

I am Vice Chairman on the planning committee at Dunstable Town Council and it comes as no surprise to me that once again Central Bedfordshire Council over rule our committee's decision with what can only be described as a farce. When it comes to the opportunity for local residents and members of the council to voice their opposition, is three minutes enough? The Development Management Committee meeting was attended by local Independent Councillor John Gurney who noted: ”When it came to the vote, one of the Councillors said they had to abstain because they had fallen asleep during the online debate! The other Councillors were shouting to wake him up."

The two Councillors who voted against are the Independents: Mary Walsh (Toddington) and Patrick Hamill (Houghton Regis). The only Dunstable Councillor on the Development Management Committee is Nigel Young. At one point he interrupted the discussions to demand the chairman “hurry it up”. The Linpac Development is another example of how little control local residents and councillors have when it comes to taking care of how and what is developed.

There any many more contentious planning proposals on the horizon and I can tell you that they will all get approved. Dunstable Town Council planning committee has good intentions but it has no power.

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