It is naïve and arrogant of the applicant to fail to adopt a best practice community engagement strategy for this project. An enormous contingent of the local community use the Hough End Playing Fields on either a formal or informal basis and absolutely no effort has been made for the applicant to engage with interested parties as part of the development process. This is entirely unacceptable. The applicant seems to believe that having internal meetings with MCC colleagues and interested parties as stated within the SCI section of the planning report is sufficient to satisfy any requirement to consult with the local community. The level of concern and objection amongst local residents clearly evidences that this is misguided.
The local community are clearly very keen to engage on this proposal and the application should be refused to allow full consideration and review of the local communities’ views given the value of this space.
MCC have a duty to exercise “Open Government” and the failure to properly engage with the local community on this proposal is a failure in this duty.
On this basis the proposal is unacceptable and should be refused.