18 February 2008
Thank you for the excellent photograph and article about the flooding along
Germany Beck and the way the planning system doesn’t really work. I was standing
beside Christine Dinsdale, whose alarm you report, when she showed the pictures
and newspaper reports to the Planning Inspector during his site visit at the end
of the Public Inquiry about Germany Beck.
The Inspector commented that it was ‘difficult’ when the official flooding line
was contradicted by the evidence which various local people reported to him. The
Inspector’s report however accepted the ‘official’ view that was given to him by
the developers even though we had produced many images, covering a number of
floods, that showed the floodwater reached a metre higher than the flood line
used in the design.
This unreal approach to the facts continued.
On the same visit we encountered the hole of a water vole. The representative of
the developers insisted that this must be ignored since ‘it had not been
presented in evidence during the inquiry’. The Inspector went along with this
madness and his report accepts the unsubstantiated view presented by the
developer’s expert that Germany Beck is not a habitat for water voles, in spite
of the evidence presented by those who knew the beck much better and, of course,
the inescapable evidence of the hole of a water vole at his feet.
I do not believe that those operating the planning system are either stupid or
dishonest so the fault must lie in the mad rules under which they operate which
requires some inconvenient truths to be ignored.
Please continue with your enquiry as it is vital that some sense of reality
creeps into this planning debate before the vital historic, environmental and
recreational resource of Germany Beck is destroyed.
PS added in feb 2012
This was included in the report and the water
voles have suffered terribly becuse they are in the wrong place in spite of