This morning the National Transport Casework Team issued the the following announcement.
TOWN AND COUNTRY PLANNING ACT 1990: SECTION 247
PROPOSED STOPPING UP OF HIGHWAY AT PRINCES PARADE, FOLKESTONE CT21 6AQ
NOTIFICATION OF PUBLIC INQUIRY
THE INQUIRY will be held at Council Chamber, Folkestone & Hythe District Council, Civic Centre, Castle Hill Avenue, Folkestone, Kent, CT20 2QY commencing at 10:00am on 19 October 2021.
WRITTEN STATEMENT [OF CASE]
Although Inquiries into these types of Orders are not governed by particular Inquiry Rules, it is helpful to the Inquiry proceedings, and to avoid any potential for delays, if written statements which the parties intend to rely upon to present their case are exchanged ahead of the Inquiry and a copy provided to the Inspector ahead of the Inquiry opening.
You are requested, therefore, to provide a copy of your written statement [of case], as an objector to the Order, to this office by no later than 21 September 2021 and at such time send a copy of that statement to the applicant.
National Transport Casework Team
(Note that copies of previous objections will be passed to the Inspector and the inquiry is expected to last 4 days)
A notice of the Public Inquiry will be published in The Folkestone Herald on the 23rd Sept 2021.
A Stopping up order is usually made to allow development to take place or because the public highway is no longer necessary.
Now many people made objections to the proposed Stopping Up Order of the Princes Parade road, all of which went to Folkestone & Hythe District Council, who were the applicant to Stop Up the road. It was their responsibility to negotiate with the objectors with a view to resolving the issues raised. However, F&HDC did not listen to people they serve. As the objections could not be resolved, the Secretary of State was petitioned by Cllr Love who determined a Public Inquiry was necessary to fully consider the objections prior to making a decision.
A Stopping Up Order will only be granted when the following criteria have been met:
a) The planning permission decision notice has been received and
b) All objections have been withdrawn formally, or
c) If written representations have been considered, or
d) An inquiry has been held, and the inspector’s report and recommendations have been considered.
Once the above criteria have been met, a decision will be made on whether the Order should be finalised. The decision will be notified to the applicant and interested parties.
Additionally, a notice regarding the decision will be published in the same manner as the draft Order.
Once the Order is published, it is subject to a six week period within which challenges to the validity of that Order can be made in the High Court.
This means whichever way the Public Inquiry is decided, Hythe Town Council who objected to the stopping up of the road, on the 5th June 2018, or Folkestone & Hythe District Council can legitimately challenge the validity of the order.
So, regardless of what happens at the Public Inquiry, both Hythe Town Council or Folkestone & Hythe District Council have another bite of the cherry to either stop the development, or drive it through.
The Public Inquiry is not the end of the road, and all those involved should look on the bright side of the road.
The Shepway Vox Team
Dissent is Not a Crime