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Bishop's Stortford's Labour Party attacks 'perverse' East Herts planning decisions

Labour Party candidate Thomas Diamond (7566540)
Labour Party candidate Thomas Diamond (7566540)

Labour Party candidates in Bishop’s Stortford have kicked off their local government election campaign with an attack on East Herts planners.

Spokesman David Jacobs said members believed district council decisions have “reached new heights of absurdity”.

He said: “Not content with approving their own application for permission to build the ugly multi-storey car park in Northgate End, ignoring restrictions on developments in the conservation area, it has now refused retrospective permission to Pircio restaurant to retain the decking and water feature outside the Drill Hall.

“This is one of several recent decisions which concern us. Permission was refused to allow change of use for one of the light industrial units in Southmill Road to provide a Pilates and yoga clinic, despite there being gyms at both this site and at the other end of the road.

“Expansion plans for the vets in Rye Street would have brought more employment to the area but were turned down because they would have had an ‘overbearing impact’. On the other hand, a Chinese takeaway in Nelson Street, with no parking or turning space, was approved.”

The party blames Conservative domination of the authority for the “perversity of these decisions”.

Thomas Diamond, a Labour candidate for Central Ward, said: “When speaking to the residents of Stortford while out canvassing in recent weeks, I have been struck by how angry people are with some of the absurd planning decisions the council has been making. So many people have voiced their frustrations to me. A change is clearly needed.”

Town and district council seats will be contested on May 2 and Labour has pledged to field “more candidates in these elections than ever before”.

Pircio. (7566630)
Pircio. (7566630)

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