- seeking justice
Condition 07 allegedly discharged unlawfully
The application to discharge Condition 07 (09/0591) appeared on Newport council’s ‘Weekly List’ dated 23 June 2009 and on the relevant Planning Application Schedule for the planning committee meeting originally scheduled for 13 January 2010, but which was postponed until 19 January 2010.
The decision to grant the discharge of Condition 07 for the school site (only) is recorded in the planning committee minutes for 19 January 2010. The Notice of Decision was issued on 19th January 2010.
The full text of Condition 07 is:
“On completion of the works of remediation the applicant shall provide a certification report, compiled by a suitably qualified engineer who has supervised the works, which confirms that the remediation works have been completed fully in accordance with the approved remediation strategy.
Reason: To ensure that the remediation strategy is effectively implemented in the interest of residential amenities and to safeguard the interests of future users of the site.”
It is worth highlighting the key elements of Condition 07:
(a) Condition 07 required a certification report (later referred to as the Remediation Validation Report) to confirm that the necessary remediation works had been “completed fully” in accordance with the approved remediation strategy.
(b) The wording of Condition 07 is unambiguous in its intent. Condition 07 could not be discharged unless and until "the remediation works have been completed fully in accordance with the approved remediation strategy".
(c) The test permitting Condition 07 to be discharged is a simple one: Either the remediation works have been completed fully, or they have not.
The importance of Condition 07 is emphasised in a letter from the Countryside Council for Wales dated 5 December 2003 to Newport Council, which stated:
"The application site lies adjacent to the River Usk candidate Special Area of Conservation (cSAC), River Usk (Lower Usk) Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). Our comments on the outline planning application are provided in our letter of 2 August 2000. As you are aware, in determining the application Newport City Council undertook an appropriate assessment under Regulation 48(1) of the Conservation (Natural Habitats &c) Regulations 1994. This included measures to avoid adverse impacts on the features of the River Usk, which were covered by conditions attached to the permission. Our concerns should therefore be addressed via the implementation of planning conditions, particularly numbers 6 & 7 and 12 to 18."
In January 2010, Lotery's Reen was still not lined, therefore the Remediation Strategy had still not been completed fully. It appeared to local residents and local fishermen that the application to discharge Condition 07 was premature and so objections were submitted accordingly [Objection 1] [Objection 2] [Objection 3].
By the time of the Planning Committee meeting held on 19th January 2010, Newport council had, allegedly, already permitted the new school to be occupied unlawfully.
At the Planning Committee meeting held on the 19th January 2010, council officers informed the Planning Committee that either the planning committee approve the discharge of Condition 07, or the school would have to be taken out of service.
Despite objections, the Planning Committee then voted to discharge Condition 07.
Local residents believe that Newport council officers had knowingly and deliberately occupied the school prematurely so that members of the planning committee would feel imprisoned into backing the discharge of Condition 07.