It is not my wish to keep writing on this subject to the Observer, however, Mr. Stuart must realise his constant venomous campaign of vilification against anyone who has the temerity to hold a different opinion than he regarding the Lion Street development, (particularly me), indicates his total lack of understanding of planning matters, terms and conditions and the role of a councillor. He does not do his cause much good and many residents have now contacted me questioning his agenda.
It is common practice for a councillor to speak against a development if it is felt there are planning matters of concern. It is not usual for a councillor to be subject to Mr. Stuart’s line of insults and ‘creative’ comments.
At the risk of boring readers, but to clarify:-
1. I did not speak for ten minutes.
2. I most certainly did not exhort all my fellow councillors to vote against the application – this is a lie. However, it was my duty to express concerns of residents who will be affected, and all their objections were valid planning concerns.
3. The number of Councils to which I am elected is irrelevant.
4. Mr. Stuart is extremely involved in the Fletcher project and was a spokesman when it featured in the Observer 19th April 2013. He is also an officer of Rye Conservation Society. A councillor in this situation would have to declare an interest and not vote, and possibly not even speak.
5. The new Government policy of presumed sustainability, as set out in the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), has almost certainly ensured the development received planning permission, otherwise it could have failed on local planning policies.
6. It is perfectly in order to mention the Kino at Hawkhurst. In Rye this organisation will, I understand, be operating the cinema in conditions considerably different from Hawkhurst, and one could impinge on the viability of the other. My concern is with the viability of the one in Rye.
If Mr. Stuart is of the opinion I behaved improperly he should report me to Rother District Council’s Head of Corporate Services who is responsible for Standards, otherwise could I suggest he stops sniping and directs his considerable energy to ensuring compliance with the conditions placed on the development by Rother District Council are met, conditions which, incidentally, cover many of the concerns objectors expressed. To conclude, get on with producing the goods as most applicants do when planning permission is granted.
Cllr. Sam Souster Rye Town Hall