Battle Observer Comment

OH dear. It seems Rother District Council can’t seem to do anything right this week.

Last week’s revelation that the council is to start charging to collect green waste has prompted a flood of angry letters to the Observer (see page 6).

But another example of council greed has come to light with revelations that Rother intends to charge for planning advice.

A householder with a simple, straight-forward query could find themselves forking out £48. For a letter.

And the privilege of a personal audience with a planning officer will set that same householder back a further £48. An hour.

I find this staggering.

For queries about a larger-scale development, which may take up a lot of the planning officer’s time, charges are a bit more understandable.

But £48 for a letter about an outbuilding, for example, is just downright greedy.

The same charges do not apply for neighbouring Hastings Borough Council, which still offers free advice to householders, although charges apply for larger developments.

This week, one Battle Town Councillor described it as ‘the thin end of the wedge’.

And I think some may find it quite hard to disagree with that.