Council Vendetta

I do accept that if there has been a breach of planning regulations then it is the Council’s duty to regularise it. But it should only be done if necessary and in an open, honest and fair manner. The Town & Country Planning Act provides clear and precise steps for remedying any alleged breach but it does not give Dover District Council DDC the authority to go beyond what is necessary.

It is not the Council’s duty to deceive, employ dubious tactics or punish people.

Various people who have taken an interest in my case have suggested that Dover District Council DDC must be waging a vendetta against me. That could be the case but I’m not sure, as it may merely be a need to cover up the original unlawful action carried out by the previous administration. I can think of no other reason why the Council would pursue an action that is so disproportionate and blatantly unjustified.

If Dover District Council DDC is waging a vendetta against me then it might have started as far back as June 1984 when I purchased my bungalow. Within days Mr Richards, an Area Planning Officer with Dover District Council, visited me. He was an extremely abusive and aggressive little man who made veiled threats before leaving. It was impossible to engage in a civil conversation with him so I immediately wrote a letter to David Sturt, the Chief Planning Officer, requesting a meeting in order to discuss the matter. He did not grant me a meeting but merely referred me back to Richards. Things did not get off to a good start!

There is overwhelming evidence to prove that DDC acted unlawfully when they demolished my bungalow and that may explain why their various reports and press releases have more to do with trickery than they do with the truth.

It does seem strange that Dover Council are not concerned with the truth, but seem more interested in being adversarial in order to disguise their original, unlawful action. They continually suppress any evidence that supports my case while their various reports are written in a biased, prejudicial way with their evidence being tainted as a result.

There are numerous examples of the Council’s ongoing deceit and dubious tactics and I have listed a few, as follows:

Dover District Council was hell-bent on destroying my home and in 1989 they succeeded. To achieve that, the Planning Department deceived the Planning Committee by falsely stating that I had erected a new bungalow. Evidence proves that the Planning Committee’s decision to demolish my home was based on false information presented to them by the planning department. This is confirmed by the findings of the Council’s own Professional Standards Investigator. In his report into my complaint he states:

6.10     After careful consideration of all the files and documents relating to the history of this site I have come to the conclusion that the Planning Committee reached the decision to demolish the complainant’s home based on inaccurate and misleading advice.

6.11 This was maladministration.

Before Dover District Council DDC demolished my bungalow I legally sited a mobile home adjacent to it. This made it exempt from enforcement action because it was ancillary to the primary use of the land and continued, uninterrupted, the lawful residential use of the land. Despite that the Council unlawfully issued an enforcement notice on the 27 February 1990, ordering its removal.

In 2001 I submitted a planning application and whilst this planning application was being processed I sent a letter, dated 8 May 2001, to the case officer Mr J. Peall, informing him that I wanted my representative to attend the forthcoming planning meeting. I also requested a copy of his planning report. I did not receive a reply to this letter, thus both requests were ignored. I wrote again on 21 May 2001 and sent this letter by recorded delivery but this letter was also ignored. On Friday 25 May 2001 I telephoned DDC planning department to request answers to my enquiry. I explained my concerns to Mr Wallace and he stated that my planning application didn’t go to planning committee but had been refused by delegated decision. Mr Peall knew full well, when I wrote to him, that he had no intention of presenting my application to the Planning Committee and chose not to inform me but to blatantly ignore my letters.

During the course of events between 2002 and 2004 Dover District Council DDC Planning Officer, Mark Mortimer, prepared a ‘report’. Tim Flisher, the Council’s Development Control Officer, instigated the saga of the ‘Mortimer report’ and I requested a copy because he placed great emphasis on its importance and explicitly gave that as a reason why he could not progress matters. There were no less than fifteen letters exchanged with the Council relating to Mark Mortimer’s ‘report’ and in view of such extensive correspondence over this specific document it is reasonable to assume that it did in fact exist. If it did not exist why did Tim Flisher refuse to release the document to me and why did Lee May (Council solicitor) quote relevant sections and subsections of the Freedom of Information Act in order to support his refusal to release this document to me? It didn’t make sense for the Council to go to such great lengths to refuse something that didn’t exist. Why did such a critical document never materialise? It might lead one to conclude that the document has been suppressed or destroyed because it contained information, which if released, could compromise the Council’s position.

In 2005 I submitted a planning application and Dover District Council DDC started their dirty tricks again. The planning department tampered with the wording of my application and their planning report contained incorrect statements, misleading information and was written in a biased way designed to ensure a refusal. I withdrew my application for those reasons and submitted a formal complaint to the Council’s Professional Standards Department.

The Professional Standards Investigator upheld my complaint and found Dover District Council DDC guilty of maladministration with injustice on a number of counts. The Council’s Chief Executive, Nadeem Aziz, refused to accept his Investigator’s findings and informed me that that no further action would be taken in connection with the investigation or, indeed, in connection with my complaint, probably because of the calamitous implications its acceptance would have for the Council. The Professional Standards Investigator has not worked for the Council since.