Spent 38 years in the RAF, but left when I decided I wasn’t suited to the military! (joking by the way).  A district councillor since 1999.  Main area of interest is planning, so I actually enjoy being the chairman of the development control committee.  Recently took over the waste management portfolio, green spaces and will be continuing to promote carbon reduction.

 I don’t like to see people being treated unfairly or taken advantage of.  I like helping people to fight the ‘system’, especially when the ‘system’ starts to think it’s more important than the people it serves.

7 thoughts on “About

  1. Hi Roger, I spent 24 years in the Army until they didn’t want me anymore (retired at 40)!
    I am a local businessman and have successfully run my business locally employing some 40 odd people for the last 15 years.

    Having spent the last 17 or so years in Spalding, for all the time I have lived here I have never has any cause to kick off and have been extremely happy living in the ward, until last week. I live at 57 Fen End Lane!!

    This morning I submitted my objections to the proposed development H16-0009-14, the Lincs Gateway development at the end of Barrier Bank. There are Parcels of land in the plan (A2 & A3) which if approved would cause a massive amount of Stress and Discomfort and all sorts of other problems not only to my family but to those other residents on the Lane. Who want a Business Park literally metres from their back fence?

    I would appreciate it if your would read through my objections and the reason for those objections. If planning permission were to be granted most if not the majority of the plans for Parcels A2 & A3 goes against the South Holland 2006 Plan Chapter 3 policies SG1 – SG18 in my view.

    I would welcome the opportunity to sit down with you to discuss my objections at your convenience

    Kind Regards

    Graham Brown
    Managing Director
    Phoenix Drivers Limited
    Mobile: 07887863671


  2. Refernece your comment regarding people being treated unfairly by the system. What would you call the disregard of a 950 name petition against the placing of a Gasifier/ Incinerator at Sutton Bridge ?


    • Unfortunately, the planning system does not allow public opinion to override the planning regulations and policy set by government and reflected in the Local Plan for an area.
      The fact that 950 people signed a petition objecting just because they don’t want something to happen, still doesn’t count for as much, as if only one person had submitted a letter containing one well founded objection, that cannot be overcome by the use of conditions or a s106.
      Even if the planning committee had refused the application because of a 950 petition, the applicant would certainly have objected and would very probably have not only won, but also been able to claim costs, if the inspector considered the council had been unreasonable in refusing the application in the first place.


  3. In the so-called Planning discussion (‘fulsome’ you called it – I’ve heard better discussions in a chicken coop), you ruled out reference to anything except a building to accommodate an incinerator. Accordingly, ‘sustainability’ was an issue totally ignored by the two ‘planners’. According to the Government’s own definition ‘Sustainability’ is about ensuring that the places where we live are kept pleasant to live in. Eleven chimneys chucking out who knows what on crops, people & Wash sealife would not contribute to a pleasant or healthful environment, not to mention the pollution from traffic chaos round Sutton Bridge and the surrounding area.

    You say ‘…I like helping people to fight the ‘system’, especially when the ‘system’ starts to think it’s more important than the people it serves.’ That’s exactly what’s happening here.


    • Sustainability has numerous strands, with the issues you refer being a part, but by no means the whole story. The planners are required to balance all of the issues and give weight to each, not just settle on one and base the whole decision on that, whilst ignoring everything else. The planning authority is not the one to determine whether or not a plant of this type will operate within the environmental limits set by the government, this is authorised by the EA and then policed by the use of air monitoring systems. If the EA doesn’t believe that the plant will operate safely, then it will not be licensed and the fires will never be lit. How would the planners justify a refusal based on these concerns, without any form of evidence to support them and without becoming vulnerable to loosing any subsequent appeal? Notwithstanding public opinion, SHDC has a duty not to waste taxpayers’ money on fighting planning appeals based on weak arguments.
      I find the ongoing arguments about traffic baffling. If the people of Sutton Bridge were so concerned about increased traffic, why on earth didn’t they tell SHDC that they didn’t want Wingland identified as a major employment site back in the 1990s? What did they expect would happen when 25 hectares of land was identified as suitable for employment and virtually all types of industrial and business use? It’s not as if they couldn’t look at the Enterprise Park in Spalding, to see what sort of traffic flows are generated by such development and then made clear to SHDC that Sutton Bridge didn’t wish to see this happen at Wingland, when the Local Plan was updated in 2005/6.


      • I am well aware of the complete definition of sustainability according to the Government guidelines. It’s a pity that you were in such a hurry to get a decision at the first planning meeting by 8.30 that you failed to direct the committee properly regarding sustainability. Though some of the members of the Planning Committee expressed doubts & worries you promptly overruled them and the majority were clearly ignorant of what was involved; what made it worse was that the Officers relied on PREL distorted photographs in their peremptory dash through a few of the issues.

        Everybody took your word that they were just giving planning permission for a building, never mind what its function might be. Never mind sustainability.

        I must say that I wonder how much taxpayers’ money has been wasted over your deeply flawed planning decision and the quashing of permission.

        Wingland as an employment site maybe, but not a site for the pollution of produce in the surrounding fields, fish-stocks in the Wash, and deleterious effects on health for miles around; the proposed incinerator will not employ many people any more than does the Power Station.

        The traffic situation is unarguable; nothing baffling: according to PREL’s own figures (although they vary depending on where they put the goalposts) there will be one 22 ton HGV in and out of the plant every 6-10 minutes. Just think about it! There will be traffic chaos on an already very busy highway. PREL’s photo of the A17 shows it as completely empty.

        I gather that the Local Plan is up for renegotiation. Guess what…

        As a defender of people against systems, I suggest you’re on the wrong side here.


  4. I’m afraid you give me far too much credit regrding any influence over the planning committee and how they eventually choose to vote.
    Since becoming chairman, I have made it very clear to the officers, that I expect them to challenge committee members when they are talking rubbish, or making inaccurate comments, or statements that could confuse, or mislead other members – and that, that goes doubly for me as the chairman! There is no doubt plenty of video evidence of past committee meetings, where such ‘corrections’ have taken place.
    My statement regarding the planning considerations was no more or less than a repetition of a statement made to me, by the senior planning officer, during the pre-committee run-through. As already stated, Paul Jackson would have very quickly corrected my comments, had he felt this to be in any way inaccurate, or misleading and I stand by it.

    The planning application is being revisited, not because it is flawed in principle, but because two of the conditions have been challenged and need to be reworded.

    I do indeed remain baffled by the objectors attempts to sight traffic as an issue. The highway authority has not raised any concerns that would support any attempt to resist the application on traffic grounds. Put another way, exactly how much traffic would be generated if the whole Wingland site was built out with multiple commercial and industrial units and would this figure be less than that advised for this development?

    South Holland DC does not have the expertise, or the authority to reject an application of this nature, based on potential environmental impact, when other legislation exists to deal with this. In this case, the EA are the agency that will issue the licences required to operate the plant legally. This is why SHDC are only determining the suitability, or otherwise of the building for this location and not its actual operation.

    The Local Plan is being renewed, with all development options being reviewed, including employment land allocations. If the people of Sutton Bridge believe that the remaining areas of Wingland should now be deal located for employment purposes, so that there is no further increase in traffic, then they should produce the required evidence. Without any such evidence, the landowners are certain to challenge any attempt to deallocate the land. Likewise, if SHDC do not consider that the remaining areas of Wingland are likely to come forward for development as employment land within the plan period, it may well seek to deallocate the land within the new Local Plan. Again, it is likely that the landowners would seek to challenge this. As such, there’s no right or wrong side of the Local Plan process, just the required evidence base.


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