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Letters / Chairman Mao would have been impressed (Toft net washing plant)

For those of you who are unaware of the practice of ‘salami slice development’ I suggest it may be in your interests to take notice here. I will try as a layman to explain.

Any company can put in a planning application for a development at the back of anyone’s house, and as long as the boundary is outwith 30 metres of the property, and the development is less than two hectares, they have no legal obligation to inform you.

Should this first phase of the plan get through the company can then put in a further plan, also less than two hectares and the same rules apply once again.

If this goes through, the same rules apply, etc. This is known as ‘salami slice.’  We now have the beginning of a brand new industrial area at the back of someone’s house.

This of course has to go through planning, but the fact that it will have a negative effect on the value of your house is not something that will be considered in the process. You may lose, say, 50 per cent of the value of your house. This apparently is not worthy of consideration by the planning officer.

If the plan is thrown out by the planning officer, the company can appeal. If the plan goes through the objector cannot!

This is UK planning policy and grossly unfair. It is taken up happily by the Scottish government; so no problems there.

This is what is happening at Toft now with the net washing plant plan, and you could be next. It could happen at the back of your house tomorrow. Think about that for a minute.

Harry Scott-Haylock was happily retired at Toft in a small house above the pier. He was notified by nobody about this development and now stands to lose a large portion of what he has worked for all his life, most of it up here.

The planning department was trying to contact him but couldn’t locate him on their computer software. They are considering asking local posties in future to try and pinpoint exactly where people live.

The Chinese government move villagers to make way for industry, they get flak for that, but I do believe they rehome them. Harry has had no offers!

Mind you he doesn’t want to leave anyway and why should he? The plant can be built elsewhere quite easily, where it doesn’t destroy people’s lives. That may however cost an international company more money, quite unpalatable for them I’m sure, better for them for Harry to lose out.

Mao Tse Tung would have been impressed with the process here. It’s going to provide five jobs to begin with, possibly 20 when the other phases go through. “It’s for the greater good!” Chairman Mao might have said. The chairman of the local community council has taken those words on board.

John Laurenson
Toft