The contents of the e-mail I sent - widely distributed around our local community and on which the PC based its comments is shown below:
In both my roles with the Fair Committee and with the Shop Steering Group I have from time to time had contact with the owner of the quarry and his agents. Most recently the Shop Steering Group has been considering an offer from the owner (Dr Burston) to transfer, freehold, a plot of land on Station Road and a substantial sum of money to build a community shop/cafe. Although not the Steering Groups first choice for a shop site we have been held up with planning whilst the wider Planning Application for the development of a "retirement village" in the quarry was considered by SKDC. The Parish Council sent its (majority vote) objections to SKDC on 19 Feb.
Today, I took a call from Dr Burston advising a further complication. He advised that he is seriously considering an offer to purchase the quarry from representatives of a group of Travellers, retaining the extant planning authority for "light industrial" units in the quarry. He made it quite clear that as he has now retired he wishes to conclude his interest in the quarry at the earliest opportunity and this offer could see transfer of ownership taking place with a few months. His frustration with the SKDC planning process was clear as was his disappointment with the lack of support from the Parish Council for the current development plan.
The implications for the village are also clear. If the Travellers gain ownership - and they have every right to buy it, they could/would quickly establish an encampment, possibly constructing accommodation along the lines of the extant planning permission for "light industrial", take up residence and follow up with a protracted retrospective planning application to build a travellers encampment. This information will be in the public domain within a very few days. Obvious outcomes will be an immediate blight on the value of properties in Castle Bytham and probably surrounding smaller villages as well. I am sure many of you will be able to think of other undesirable outcomes. It will put the views of those who object to any development in the Village into the shade once the sale is complete. Moreover this could happen very quickly. SKDC cannot object to the sale and the implementation of the existing planning permission. The subsequent deliberate change of use could create a hiatus that would drag on for years as has been the case in other parts of the country.
Many of you will react to this information with righteous indignation and justifiably so. However, we also have to recognise that the owner of the quarry has been frustrated by the barriers that our local Planning Authority and our Parish Council have erected. When the first proposal to change the outline planning permission from "light industrial" to "retirement village were put forward I did some research into the subject and I attach a brief on my views on the subject, based on that research.
For those of you who do not know me I must emphasise that I have absolutely no financial interest in the project for a retirement village and have only the best, ***** ***** interests of the local community at heart. At the last Parish Council meeting the chair declined to call for a public meeting. I believe this is now imperative.
Please circulate this as widely as possible in the Glenside Community. No doubt my telephone will be humming for a few days. Unfortunately I will be in hospital
Tel: *********** /p>
Mob: *********** /p>