A Comment on the latest Howard Mallett consultation

As you may know, there is yet more consultation on the travel plan for the Howard Mallett / CityLife applications from Chard Robinson. I’d like to try to clarify because PACT is mentioned in the CR documents.

There are two main planning applications – the 2014 application (approved but not in effect – not “discharged” – yet) for Bodywork to occupy as a dance school, and the 2015 application for wider educational use combined with a community access scheme. Both of these acknowledge the community history of the site – dance schools are inherently, always, community based (it’s true, check google), and the 2015 application offers a “deal” to the local community, of university level use (CSVPA) during the day a lot of evening and weekend access for community groups & groups offering activities to local residents. This deal isn’t unusual. It would be worth considering – it would be the best open community use of the site in years – but the community holds the cards here since the local plan should protect this community facility from university level use unless we agree.

Sadly, Chard Robinson and their representatives have horribly poisoned the air with the local community in their handling of the affair, the conditions on the planning permission and their attitude to St Matthew’s Piece. The mention of PACT now is typical. Trustees and people we know have talked to CR and CSVPA over community use if the 2015 application’s “deal” was passed. This is now being quoted in trying to justify a reinterpretation of the 2014 application, where instead of a dance school (with the inherent strong community links), CSVPA uses the site for some dance alongside community dance use (with no formal commitment to it, no terms and conditions etc. – this could be dropped at any time). This surely isn’t the approved use to any normal person (by the way, it’s all being argued in the context of the “travel plan” because it’s that which mentions Bodywork most explicitly). Noone locally wants to see this kind of misuse of the 2014 planning permission. Chard Robinson should stop messing around and let us have an honest and proper debate on the 2015 application without this kind of rubbish poisoning the air. I personally find it genuinely sickening.

The text in question follows. It contains various factual inaccuracies covered by the “we understand” phrase. It stinks, frankly.

The “APPELLENT’S STATEMENT OF CASE”, Eversheds LLP is a 14 November 2016
entry to 14/1252/COND12.  It contains the following paragraph:

“As you know, our client is very keen to allow community access to the
newly refurbished dance studio space.  They have been in discussions
with the Elevation Youth Dance Company who would like to use the space
alongside our client for their ‘Generate’ project, which we understand
is being overseen by the local neighbourhood group, PACT.  Local
community dance will therefore also suffer if the Premises are unable to
be used.  We therefore request that for the good of all the children and
students wishing to pursue their dance studies at the site, the travel
pan be approved without delay”.

Associates, 1406-57/TN/05 is a 11 November 2016 entry to 15/2372/FUL.

Time limits for comments are 21 November 2016 for reopened consultation on this condition of the 2014 application, 14/1252/COND12 and 28 November 2016 for 15/2372/FUL (the 2015 application).

By the way, it has also been seriously suggested that there is some kind of conflct of interest in PACT, a community charity supporting community activities and cohesion, to have a trustee who runs community activities. As you can tell, I think that’s a joke.

Posted by John, Trustee (previously chair but post-AGM we need to meet to reallocate posts). This is my personal comment on this affair.