Owen Moore has today issued a public apology following revelations that his planning consultant had identified and recommended perfectly legal ways of avoiding unnecessary use of the planning system. The matter reached a frenzy yesterday when the multimillionaire leader of the largest party in the Lower Peover District Council governing coalition told the Gazette that he though it morally wrong that Mr Moore had maximised his use of permitted development rights for what has been termed an 'ancillary annexe'.
It is believed that the faceless consultant had done a little homework on planning files and identified a discrepancy between the concepts of planning unit and curtilage at Mr Moore's £8.5m 5-bedroom mansion. The house was once the family pile of the Council Leader. As a result Mr Moore has secured not only a snooker room but also a gymnasium in his garden. Although often used only for those purposes, planning advisors are suggesting they could also also be legitimately used as storage for DIY paraphernalia or even for Jemima's pony kit, leading to increasing speculation that they may become a form of tack shelter.
The Chief Planning Officer told us that the planning consultant had used a little known loophole called a CLOPUD (also known as S192 schemes) which, it is believed, benefit from a particularly lucrative 50% reduction in planning fee liability. The planning consultant then "presented a proper planning case, using legal precedent and reasoned logic, all set out on 100gsm paper for his report. Once the heavy paper comes out we know we are in for a humdinger of a fight and we just dont have the resources. It really was quite a clever application to be honest and we only wish we could have thought of it before. We worry we might not even be able to find enforcement officer resource to check its not being used as a cinema room or a home office" opined the underfunded bureaucrat.
The shameless professional advisor has this morning been subject of a twitter rant from his former client. Mr Moore tweeted:
"I met with a planning consultant and he said to me “Do you want to pay reduced planning fees ? It’s totally legal.” I said “Yes.”
"I now realise I’ve made a terrible error of judgement"
Although I’ve been advised the S192 scheme is entirely legal, and has been fully disclosed to LPA (the local planning authority)
and finished the barrage with:
’Im no longer involved in it and will in future conduct my planning affairs much more responsibly through the payment of full planning fees and accepting unreasonable conditions. Apologies to everyone"