2 June 2023
Mr Daniel Mouawad
Spelthorne Borough Council
We wish to register a formal objection regarding the Extraordinary Council Meeting scheduled for the evening of Tuesday 6 June 2023.
Cllr Saliagopoulos, in her role as Mayor, will be convening and chairing the meeting. She will be able to exercise a casting vote.
Cllr Saliagopoulos has a Direct Disclosable Pecuniary Interest in the outcome of the vote to be taken at the ECM, as to whether the Local Plan should continue its progress through the Examination in Public.
For the absence of doubt:
It is a well-understood and well-established risk (clearly identified in the Officers’ Report for the meeting) that, should we continue to not have a valid Local Plan (as we do not have at the moment), for however long, sites in this Borough will be open to “Planning-by-Appeal”.
This is the process whereby a developer, who has a Planning Application refused at the Borough’s Planning Committee, takes it on Appeal, where it is highly likely that the Appeal Inspector will grant the application, on the grounds that the Borough cannot demonstrate a supply of homes, because we do not have a valid Local Plan.
This has already happened to sites in this Borough, and is happening all over the country. Please see this very recent report from the CPRE:
Cllr Saliagopoulos submitted a Regulation 19 objection to the draft Local Plan concerning land she jointly owns with her father: the “Land adjacent to No 3 Penton Hook Farm, Staines”, which is currently designated as Green Belt. She wishes to build 11 homes on the site, but the site is not included as development land in the draft Local Plan. The relevant document is appended to this email. (click here to read it )
As this document makes clear, Cllr Saliagopoulos objects to the draft Local Plan in its current form. She would like the draft Local Plan amended to allow her her to build on this land through a direct amendment by the Council. Failing that, there is the significant risk that an application to build on this land would end up at an Appeal Tribunal in the Planning-by-Appeal route.
Cllr Saliagopoulos thus has a Direct Disclosable Pecuniary Interest in the draft Local Plan NOT progressing forward through the Examination in Public.
The Borough’s Standing Orders are very clear:
DECLARATION OF INTEREST
11.1 Where in relation to an item on the agenda, a councillor has a Disclosable Pecuniary Interest, that interest should be declared at the start of the meeting by giving full details of the interest and the item to which it relates. The councillor must thereafter leave the room when that matter falls to be discussed and take no part in the debate or the vote for that business.
Cllr Saliagopoulos should recuse herself from the ECM in its entirety, as directed by 11.1 of the Standing Orders. Failure to do so would bring the meeting and the vote into disrepute.
John Hirsh (Acting Chair of LoSRA)
Alan Doyle (for Keep Kempton Green)