Complaint from gallery defers plan

AN ‘appalled’ Upper Beeding resident claimed she was refused permission to speak in support of her planning application due to a council error.

Horsham District Council deferred Penny Wright’s planning application at last Tuesday’s development control committee meeting, after she announced from the gallery that she should have been permitted to speak.

She had not been included on the ‘public involvement’ list, despite a written request.

After the meeting, Mrs Wright said: “I’m appalled and absolutely disgusted that I was unable to put my point across. I shall be complaining.”

Councillors were split over the decision to defer the hearing.

Jonathan Chowen said: “Changing the outcome because someone was brave enough to talk from the public gallery is a dangerous precedent.”

But other councillors felt it was an injustice, especially if it turned out to be a council error.

Mrs Wright had submitted a plan to make ‘minor amendments’ to her roof and the insertion of side dormers at Francis Lodge, Hyde Street, Upper Beeding.

Looking at the proposal, councillors said the applicant had made alterations to her property without consent, as the majority of the work had already been carried out.