Cornwall

Cornwall Council sorry for 11-year planning application wait

spot in forder Image copyright COLIN BROWN
Image caption The application for a village green at this spot at Forder, near Saltash, was submitted in 2008

A man has spent 11 years waiting for a planning decision from his local council.

Colin Brown, 80, applied to Cornwall Council to turn a riverside beauty spot at Forder, near Saltash, into a village green in 2008.

He said some locals had "died or moved on" since the application was lodged.

The council, which was criticised for "protracted delays and inaction" by a watchdog, said it would hold a public inquiry into the application.

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The village green status would have given the area a certain amount of protection against future development.

Mr Brown said he lodged the application, on behalf of 144 locals, when he was in his late 60s.

"I'm now 80. Time is going on," he said.

"This has just gone on now to a point where people say to me 'Why do you continue with this? You're not getting anywhere?'.

"But I think there comes a point where we must continue the things we set off to do."

Image copyright COLIN BROWN
Image caption More than 140 people supported the application for a village green which was submitted by Colin Brown

After years of waiting for a decision, Mr Brown went to the the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman (LGO).

In its report, the LGO said the council had promised to hold public inquiries which were then stopped after third parties got involved.

The council has apologised for the impact the delays have had.

The LGO said it welcomed the council's promise of a new public inquiry into the case in the autumn and said it should sincerely apologise to Mr Brown for the failures.

Mr Brown has been paid £300 for the uncertainty caused by the fault and £300 for his time and trouble in making the complaint.

The Open Spaces Society said it was dismayed Cornwall Council had taken such an "inordinately long time" to start determining the application.

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