U+I plans for Swanley

U+I Plc’s Appeal Update!

This article aims to bring to your attention U+I Plc’s appeal against the rejection of their plans to capitalise on Swanley Town Centre, as available here;

https://pa.sevenoaks.gov.uk/online-applications/applicationDetails.do?activeTab=documents&keyVal=OTA6T4BK0L200

Notably, the appeal makes no attempt to revise or improve on their rejected proposals. It considers the four “KEY” reasons for rejection, and requests that these reasons be OVERRULED rather than addressing the root causes of the issues. They have not considered any of the wider issues or concerns from local people, rather focusing on trying to get the views of local bodies and the public stricken from the record. For example, in response to “Issue 6 – Third Party Objections”, there is an attempt undermine the number of “actual” objections and suggest that there are only 504, rather than 533 (notably only a 5% discrepancy, and still over 500 individual objections to the proposal which surely warrant reflection). The appeal then proceeds to ask that each party’s “…objection should be removed from consideration…”.

This is a callous act, given that U+I’s decision to appeal does not appear to have been effectively broadcast to the community. I stumbled across it out of general interest, checking up on the Planning Application website where I expected the District Council’s rejection to the proposal to provide the closing remarks. This shows us just how little U + I Plc. value the local communities’ opinions and the people that they intend to affect.

U + I Plc. should consider their ethical requirements, to do more than just comply with legislation and codes. They have a responsibility to conduct their affairs beyond their self-interests and those of their affiliates. They need to be sensitive to the societal and environmental aspects of their proposals as well as their interests in the economics at play. They should address the thoughts and concerns of the local communities and the negative connotations associated with their proposals, rather than submit an “appeal” below the radar to have these views stricken from the record.

The appeal does not address many the concerns raised by the people of Swanley. It would be a sad day for the town to see this proposal go ahead after such a unanimous Public and District Council rejection. We make our own appeal to the people of Swanley to make your voices heard once more.

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