Today Cllr Chaz Singh and myself hosted the latest Eye Infirmary campaign public meeting at Grace Christian Centre. Thank you to everyone who attended. Since we started this campaign we've made an effort to engage the whole community in our campaign regardless of how they vote. This is too important to be hung up with party politics.
At today's meeting Chaz and myself ran through ways to object to the Government Planning Inspector about Eagle One's appeal against being turned down for planning permission for a massive student block at the Eye Infirmary site. I support more well-managed, well-built student accommodation but it has to be in the right place and this is not the right location.
Instead of taking stock of the unanimous refusal and taking steps to consult the local community, the developers chose to appeal the decision without bothering to speak to local people. It is precisely this out of touch arrogance that does so much damage to the reputation of developers.
I want to see Eagle One withdraw their appeal and begin and immediate and genuine consultation with local people about the Royal Eye Infirmary site. There is still time to have a proper consultation and for the developer to begin a dialogue with the community.
HOW TO OBJECT
To object to Eagle One's appeal you need to write to the Government Planning Inspector. You must quote Appeal Reference Number APP/N1160/W/14/3000724. You can make objections or add to your current objections that have been forwarded to the Inspector by Plymouth City Council online at www.planningportal.gov.uk/PCS. If you do not have access to the internet the Inspector requires three copies (not a mistake, they actually want three!) sent to: The Planning Inspectorate, Temple Quay House, 2 The Square, Bristol BS1 6PN. All representations must quote the appeal reference number. There is guidance on the Inspector's website about how to lodge an appeal if you are uncertain.
Sign our open letter
The developer claims that building a large student block alongside the old Royal Eye Infirmary is the only way for the scheme to be economically viable. They are making this claim in the media but the problem is the local community doesn't trust them, and why should they? That's why I want to see the company take immediate steps to start afresh: withdraw the appeal and begin a consultation.
Chaz Singh and myself have drafted an open letter to Eagle One and we're asking you to add your name to it. The text is below. If you'd like to add your name please get in touch - email me firstname.lastname@example.org or call the office on 01752 269180. I've emailed Oliver Colvile asking him whether he would like to sign also. He hasn't replied to any of my emails to date but I hope he will about this one.
Dear Eagle One,
As community campaigners and residents who live near the old Royal Eye Infirmary we are writing to ask you to withdraw your planning appeal and engage in meaningful consultation with the local community about the future of the site.
We were disappointed that you have consistently ignored calls to speak to local people about your plans. We believe you have missed an opportunity to have an open and honest dialogue with the local community that would have been beneficial.
When planning permission was turned down by Plymouth City Council for your five storey 164 bedroom student block we had hoped you would recognise the importance and value of consultation and engagement with local residents. You chose not to.
We now call on you to end your appeal against the unanimous decision of Plymouth City Council's Planning Committee and begin an immediate consultation with residents.