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Planning issues explained at Northwood meeting
PLANNING policies and procedures went under the spotlight at Northwood Residents Association's half yearly forum.
Nearly every seat at Northwood Methodist Church, Oaklands Gate, was filled on Tuesday night (1) as neighbours gathered to hear James Rodger, head of planning at Hillingdon Council, give a talk on how his department works.
He covered issues such as retrospective planning permission, when permission is needed for a building and the length of time it can take for a final decision to be made.
He also cleared up some common misconceptions about the planning process, such as why it can sometimes take so long for an application or an appeal to be heard and why some rejected applications are later overturned by government body The Planning Inspectorate.
He was grilled on controversial developments in Northwood, such as flats earmarked for the site of the old Reindeer Public House in Maxwell Road and building work in High Elms, which residents said has still not being completed despite developers being prosecuted earlier this year.
Ward councillors Richard Lewis, Carol Melvin and Scott Seaman-Digby (Con) also got their chance to field questions from the crowd.
They answered queries on parking rates, road maintence and the delivery of council magazine Hillingdon People.
They were also congratulated by one resident for the council's work on retaining and boosting library provision, despite some neighbouring boroughs axing theirs, and received a round of applause.
Redundancies and the economic climate were touched upon and Cllr Seaman-Digby, who is also cabinet member on the council, told the meeting: "The most important thing is keeping a balanced budget during these contstrained times" but added that the council were determined that services should not suffer.
Tony Ellis, chairman of the residents association, appealed for new members to join and urged residents who have concerns about their area to get in touch.
For more information on the residents association log onto: www.northwoodresidents.co.uk/
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