Plaid Cymru has called on the Head of Legal Services in the Vale of Glamorgan Council to divulge the full and detailed reasons why councillors were banned from making any mention of scores of forged letters – purporting to be from local residents – “supporting” the controversial St Modwen housing scheme at Sully Sports and Social Club.
Today Cllr Chris Franks (Plaid Cymru Dinas Powys) has welcomed the Vale of Glamorgan Council planning committee decision to refuse the St Modwen PLC hybrid application to build 200 houses at Sully Sports and Social Club. (See PDN report on http://tinyurl.com/nd4cmgy )
Cllr Franks says that, for once, the planning committee “has listened to public opinion – and common sense”.
However he added that “I am very concerned that the meeting was not allowed to discuss allegations of fraudulent letters of support. I twice asked for more information about the ground for stopping discussion. We were informed that we could not discuss the issue of the questionable letters of support for the development in case it prejudiced the police investigation. I was not satisfied by the answers.”
Plaid Cymru now wants a detailed explanation from the Vale of Glamorgan Council as to why there was a ruling from the deputy chair – Cllr Margaret Wilkinson (Labour Gibbonsdown) – that the matter could not be discussed in public.
[PDN Note: Planning committee chairman, Cllr Fred Johnson (Labour Cadoc Ward Barry) – who is Company Secretary of the firm which controls the Sully Sports and Social Club – had declared an interest in the matter and had left the council chamber. In his place his deputy, Cllr Margaret Wilkinson issued an oral statement prohibiting members of the planning committee from discussing the “letters of support ” on the grounds that such a discussion could affect the on-going police investigation.]
Cllr Franks says “I cannot – for the life of me – understand how a discussion at the planning committee could adversely influence a police investigation. As I stated at committee, no one has been arrested, no one is charged – and there is no court case – so it is not subjudice.”
He says “Many committee members were unhappy with this ruling. I would now ask for a fuller explanation and justification for this ruling.”