Rogerstone council seeks legal probe over housing plan

South Wales Argus: Members of the Bethesda Field Action Group who objected to the development Members of the Bethesda Field Action Group who objected to the development

A GWENT community council is seeking independent legal advice over a controversial agreement that would see a green space sold for houses.

Rogerstone Community Council in Newport recently won an appeal over a bid for outline planning permission to build homes on Bethesda Field, despite opposition in the village.

But members of the council have now decided that an independent solicitor should look over the development agreement on the plans.

The council is now in the process of appointing a solicitor, who will give a view on the agreement for the field and its obligation on the parties now planning consent is in place, according to the council's website.

The review was requested by recently elected Labour councillors on the council, including Tom Bond.

The council has a legal agreement with RE Phillips. Cllr Bond said the firm is going to tender for a developer for the site, although he said that isn't what Labour councillors want to happen.

"We don't understand the agreement, we don't understand the implications of it. That's what we are looking into," he said.

He added: "The whole thing from a process point of view is not up to scratch. We want someone to tell us what our liabilities are and what the options are for the council."

Deputy chairman of Rogerstone council William Palmer said he was happy to go along with the proposal: "It proves to the Bethesda Action Group and the people of Rogerstone as far as we are concerned, we did it correctly.

"We have got nothing to hide."It has also emerged that Newport council will not have to pay Rogerstone council's costs for the appeal, which it lost.

A meeting of Newport council planning committee heard Rogerstone council has not made an application to recover the costs of the appeal, which involved a public inquiry.

Comments (3)

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3:29pm Sat 4 Aug 12

and bee says...

If Councillor Palmer is sure that the council have nothing to hide and that they have done everything correctly will he be supporting the release of the legal agreement to the public now that RCC have obtained planning consent.

Or will he hide behind the 'No Comment' that was used by the council in November 2010 when residents started to ask questions about the development of the field.

For more information on how the council conducted its self during the process please visit www.save-bethesda-fi
eld.co.uk Here you will find minutes which Bethesda Field Action group have obtained following an appeal to the ICO as the community council refused to release them.
If Councillor Palmer is sure that the council have nothing to hide and that they have done everything correctly will he be supporting the release of the legal agreement to the public now that RCC have obtained planning consent. Or will he hide behind the 'No Comment' that was used by the council in November 2010 when residents started to ask questions about the development of the field. For more information on how the council conducted its self during the process please visit www.save-bethesda-fi eld.co.uk Here you will find minutes which Bethesda Field Action group have obtained following an appeal to the ICO as the community council refused to release them. and bee
  • Score: 0

8:36pm Mon 6 Aug 12

disillusioned of Newport says...

Who is the appointed solicitor? Can RCC assure the community the solicitor is independent from any of the relevant parties already involved in the field process? Also, The Legal Agreement signed on 20 July 2011 should be made public as there are now S106 legal Agreements public on the NCC planning webpage for Bethesda Field 11/0590 signed by The Clerk of RCC & other related parties including NCC. Did The Clerk and the Chairman of RCC show a copy of the draft S106 agreements to the rest of the Cllrs for their approval before actually signing the agreements? if not, why not?
Come on Rogerstone residents, this land is yours which has been discussed and proposed for development since 2008 behind closed doors. It is your decision whether or not the field is developed not 15 individuals on the Community Council. The Council have to go out to public tender and agree the T&C's with the appointed developer. the field is still the ownership of the community. Dont let this happen. Next time it could be a field near you.
Who is the appointed solicitor? Can RCC assure the community the solicitor is independent from any of the relevant parties already involved in the field process? Also, The Legal Agreement signed on 20 July 2011 should be made public as there are now S106 legal Agreements public on the NCC planning webpage for Bethesda Field 11/0590 signed by The Clerk of RCC & other related parties including NCC. Did The Clerk and the Chairman of RCC show a copy of the draft S106 agreements to the rest of the Cllrs for their approval before actually signing the agreements? if not, why not? Come on Rogerstone residents, this land is yours which has been discussed and proposed for development since 2008 behind closed doors. It is your decision whether or not the field is developed not 15 individuals on the Community Council. The Council have to go out to public tender and agree the T&C's with the appointed developer. the field is still the ownership of the community. Dont let this happen. Next time it could be a field near you. disillusioned of Newport
  • Score: 0

8:41pm Mon 6 Aug 12

disillusioned of Newport says...

Residents have noticed today that a company has been in Bethesda Field all day drilling into the ground.

Who is the company? who are they instructed by to carry out this assessment? Who will be paying for this assessment, RCC, Asbri Planning, unnamed partner, NCC, preferred developer or someone else?

Perhaps Mr Deans you can look into this and find out & report on who will be funding all the extra costs for the assessments on Bethesda Field? These are assessments as laid down in the Planning Inspectors report. Someone has to be funding all these expenses. RCC cannot afford to do so who is funding the costs?
Residents have noticed today that a company has been in Bethesda Field all day drilling into the ground. Who is the company? who are they instructed by to carry out this assessment? Who will be paying for this assessment, RCC, Asbri Planning, unnamed partner, NCC, preferred developer or someone else? Perhaps Mr Deans you can look into this and find out & report on who will be funding all the extra costs for the assessments on Bethesda Field? These are assessments as laid down in the Planning Inspectors report. Someone has to be funding all these expenses. RCC cannot afford to do so who is funding the costs? disillusioned of Newport
  • Score: 0

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