September 27th, 2016

Calls for councillor to step down from Powergen planning decision

Calls for councillor to step down from Powergen planning decision Calls for councillor to step down from Powergen planning decision

CALLS have been made for councillor Howard Allen (Green/Shirley West) to be removed from the decision-making process over the future of the Powergen site.

Coun Allen has signed a petition which calls for the listing of the ‘remarkable’ John Madin-designed building in a campaign on the website Change.org.

And his signatures has led to Shirley East Conservative councillor Mark Parker and borough MP Julian Knight, calling for him to be removed from any decision-making about the site, which would fall under his remitt as a member of the borough’s planning committee.

Councillor Parker has now written to Coun Bob Sleigh, Leader of Solihull Council and Nick Page, Chief Executive, to call for COun Allen’s removal from the decision-making.

He said: “I think it is clear that Coun Allen has pre-determined his positon on the PowerGen site, and will not be able to give the application the clear and impartial consideration.

“Following his signature to the small petition calling for its retention, Coun Allen should be allowed to take no further part in the process.”

Julian Knight MP added: β€œIt is clear that the residents of Shirley wish to see the former PowerGen site redeveloped and demolished, and given Coun Allen has publically stated the building should not be demolished, how can he give the application a fair hearing?”

Speaking to The Observer this week Coun Allen said: “At the moment there is no Planning Application.

“A planning application was originally promised for December 2014 and then July 2015 but the Conservatives have failed to deliver on this.

“Having said that the PowerGen site could, and should, have been developed at the same time as the failed Parkgate scheme. There may well have been a better outcome for Shirley with a composite scheme.”

“I can express any concerns or support I have on the concept scheme as it has been presented to date and hopefully I might be able to influence any final planning application I will be considering on its merits whenever it is presented.”

He added that it was disappointing, as Shirley’s longest serving councillor, that he had, at no time, been consulted on any PowerGen scheme.

He added: “I am trying to get my head around the Conservatives’ position that they support demolishing the existing PowerGen building and replacing it with another of almost the exact same dimensions.

“This is something nearly 80 per cent of the residents I consulted, and am elected to represent, told me they do not want.”

“In my opinion it is the Conservatives who should not be considering any PowerGen planning application because they are the controlling Group and the Council has a considerable financial interest in the site.”

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