A PEEL man feels he is being unfairly targeted for causing delays to work on a new housing estate in the town.
Trevor Cowin, who lives in Poortown Road, objected to an application by Heritage Homes Ltd to vary a condition of its planning approval on the 101-home Ballawattleworth development.
But he says this would have made absolutely no difference to the timescale of the work, as the inquiry into the application to vary would have had to have been held whether or not he made his objection.
Mr Cowin claims ill feeling among those buying homes on the estate over the delays to the project is being aimed at him, and has led to his car being vandalised on several different occasions, at a cost of around £400.
Although he cannot prove the two are linked, Mr Cowin feels this is the case and is hoping police will be able to get to the bottom of the matter.
‘I’ve not held it [progress on the development] up,’ Mr Cowin told iomtoday. ‘For the last several months now my vehicle has been attacked, it’s been about six times now. It is parked in a layby down from the Highwayman Pub in a line of four vehicles, two owned by my neighbour and one is my wife’s.
‘It’s been vandalised and criminal damage done to it. The most serious was on September 8 – I normally keep my lobster pots in the trailer and someone threw them into the road and used one to smash the window. They also slashed two tyres. Last Saturday someone let one of the tyres down on the trailer.
‘I have lived here for 40 years. I am just sick to death now about having to fork out £400, plus fixing the vehicles.
‘It’s really getting to me now, I’m getting really angry. I just want the true facts to come out.’
Planning permission was granted for the development in December 2011 with certain conditions, including one that the roads and parking areas must be laid to at least base course level and be available for use before anyone could move in. It was this condition Heritage applied to vary.
A planning inquiry was held on September 13 to consider this and it reported back to the Council of Ministers earlier this month. A spokesman for the planning department confirmed the planning inquiry would have been required, with or without Mr Cowin’s objections, because of the Department of Infrastructure’s links to the application, by way of its links to highways.
Planning inspector Stephen Amos heard from Heritage that providing roads prematurely through areas where access is not yet required would threaten the viability of early phases of the development. The DoI’s highways division supported this.
Mr Cowin’s objection was that home owners would be driving on incomplete roads and that it had not been explained which roads and access would be affected by the variation.
His written objection raised the issue of who had caused delays for homeowners accessing their new properties, saying the application to vary the condition had not been submitted until six months after original planning permission was granted and that the start of work on a roundabout and on the estate road linking to it was delayed.
Mr Amos agreed the condition could be varied.
• Have the delays affected your ability to get into your new home? Email us at opinions(at)newsiom.co.im.
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