Community College Planning Application

The new community college has been granted planning permission.

The most interesting bit of the decision notice is this:

“Prior to the occupation of the new school building a Community Use Statement [CUS] shall be submitted to and approved in writing by the Local Planning Authority and thereafter implemented. This shall provide a template which will list the facilities within the school that may be used by the community, the hours of potential use and the means of publicising, accessing and booking such facilities. The CUS shall thereafter be reviewed by the school on an annual basis and publicised in accordance with the terms of the CUS.

Reason: To ensure that the school’s facilities can be made avaialble to the community to improve the sustainability of facilities within the town.”

It sounds good but is really largely meaningless. The Local Planning Authority (i.e. North Devon Council) are not very likely to delay occupation of the school if a suitable CUS isn’t completed. Even if the first one is completed in a satisfactory fashion the school can water things down in subsequent years with absolutely no comeback.

In other words all the facilities in the school, which have been provided by public money, may actually not be available to members of the public, community groups etc.

I totally despair of the planning system and our planning officials.