COUNCIL planning officers have admitted that two documents detailing the next stage of the proposals to build an adventure playground in Tatton Park were posted on the internet by mistake.
Two new submissions, a 16-page document called Enabling Development for Tatton Park, and a six-page Economic Impact Assessment were posted on the Cheshire East planning website on November 8 in relation to Bure Valley Ltd’s application to open a BeWILDerwood playground in the park.
English Heritage defines an enabling development as one which “would be unacceptable in planning terms but for the fact that it would bring public benefits sufficient to justify it being carried out, and which could not otherwise be achieved. The key public benefit to significant places is usually the securing of their long-term future.”
However, the documents were removed last week, and Save Tatton Action Group (STAG) told the Guardian it was suspicious that they had been removed after a member of the public had queried the current status of the application.
A Cheshire East Council spokesman said: “In this instance a letter from the applicant was mistakenly posted online.
“The letter was not a formal submission and therefore did not form part of the application.
“Officers removed the letter from the website as soon as they became aware of it.
“This kind of correspondence is a normal part of the planning process, and anything that we refer to when determining the application must be publicly available.”
However STAG spokesperson Heather Chadwick said she wasn’t so sure.
“Oddly, the documents were taken down on Monday, December 10 as planners claimed they had been made public in error,” she said.
“STAG finds it very coincidental that the documents were removed after a member of the public contacted the planning department to ask for an update on the status of the planning application.”
STAG added it wants to remind councillors and residents that they are concerned about the future of Tatton Park, and want to ensure the attraction is run in a financially viable way.
“Our offer to meet with Clr Mike Jones and the other authors of the Tatton Vision still stands,” said Heather.
“We are supported by many Cheshire East businesses and individuals who want to work with our elected representatives to make Tatton Park financially viable.
“Investing £240,000 in local Cheshire businesses is a much better option for growth in the area rather than spending the money on a Norfolk enterprise.”