William Eichler 04 March 2024

Mayor accused of pushing for unlawful planning committee change

Mayor accused of pushing for unlawful planning committee change   image
Image: benhouchen.com.

Tees Valley mayor Ben Houchen and Simon Clarke MP have been accused of trying to pressure Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council's planning committee to act unlawfully by speeding up the planning process for British Steel.

Mayor Houchen and Mr Clarke MP wrote to the planning committee chair, Cllr Tristan Learoyd, requesting that British Steel's plans for an electric arc furnace at its Lackenby site be heard by committee on 7 March rather than 3 April.

They argued the project was ‘critical’ for Teeside and that there were ‘no procedural reasons’ why the application could not be heard on the earlier date.

In response, Cllr Learoyd accused the mayor and Mr Clarke of wishing to speed up the planning process due to ‘political expediency’, which he said was not allowed under Local Government Act 1972 100B 4b.

He added: ‘Sir Clarke and Lord Houchen may not have been briefed on the legislation, and be unaware that their request was not catered for by the Local Government Act. As such the request to move the planning date has been refused.’

Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen said: 'Labour and Conservative councillors last week together agreed to allow for a decision to be made on the planning application by the committee on March 7, so as not to delay this investment and put it at risk. Regretfully a rogue councillor, and chairman of the committee, has refused to listen to democracy or the local community. Instead, he has chosen to delay and put at risk this important investment for what can only be political jealousy.

'All procedures relating to the planning process relating to this project have been followed in full and in line with guidance. I give a solid commitment that this will remain the case throughout.'

Banning urban pesticide use image

Banning urban pesticide use

RSPB and PAN are working on a letter from local councillors calling on the Government to introduce a national ban on urban pesticide use. Find out more below.
SIGN UP
For your free daily news bulletin
Highways jobs

Social Care Placements Programme Lead

London Borough of Richmond upon Thames and London Borough of Wandsworth
£43,434 - £52,632

Recuriter: London Borough of Richmond upon Thames and London Borough of Wandsworth

Recovery Worker Substance Misuse

Essex County Council
£30931 - £35362 per annum + + 26 Days Leave & Defined Benefit Pension
Recovery Worker Substance MisusePermanent, Full Time£30,931 to £35,362 per annumLocation
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Principal Transport Officer

Old Oak and Park Royal Development Corporation
£63,112 per annum
leading the capital’s largest new regeneration project. Brent Civic Centre (32 Engineers Way, Wembley, HA9 0FJ).
Recuriter: Old Oak and Park Royal Development Corporation

Senior Occupational Therapist

Essex County Council
£43477 - £52302 per annum + Flexible Working, Hybrid, CPD, Gov Pension
The role will be responsible for supporting adults to develop their abilities to enable them to live as independently as possible. This may include England, Essex, Harlow
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Director of Commissioning and Performance

Northumberland County Council
£100,157 - £109,081
We are looking for an individual to help us achieve excellence in adult social care in Northumberland. Northumberland County Council, Morpeth, United Kingdom
Recuriter: Northumberland County Council
Linkedin Banner

Partner Content

Circular highways is a necessity not an aspiration – and it’s within our grasp

Shell is helping power the journey towards a circular paving industry with Shell Bitumen LT R, a new product for roads that uses plastics destined for landfill as part of the additives to make the bitumen.

Support from Effective Energy Group for Local Authorities to Deliver £430m Sustainable Warmth Funded Energy Efficiency Projects

Effective Energy Group is now offering its support to the 40 Local Authorities who have received a share of the £430m to deliver their projects on the ground by surveying properties and installing measures.

Pay.UK – the next step in Bacs’ evolution

Dougie Belmore explains how one of the main interfaces between you and Bacs is about to change.