Council colleagues slam retrospective bid by Aitchison

Sandy Aitchison
Sandy Aitchison

Members of the council’s planning committee expressed disbelief that a fellow councillor erected a canopy over a balcony at his Stow home without planning permission.

A retrospective planning application for the structure, which committee member Councillor Donald Moffat said looked “alien in the neighbourhood”, was submitted by Councillor Sandy Aitchison.

On Monday, council colleagues approved the application, but not without criticism of Councillor Aitchison.

Councillor Stuart Bell said he was “astonished” to see a retrospective application being made by a councillor.

Councillor Michelle Ballantyne added: “Some hand-slapping is in order in terms of not getting things in the right order.”

Planning committee chairman, Councillor Ron Smith, said: “We hear that there was an assurance that a planning application was never needed for it, but we need to emphasise that it is incumbent on any applicant to double check that with the planning department.”

Mr Smith added: “I’m sure the situation that Councillor Aitchison finds himself in is an embarrassment.”

In documents with the application, Mr Aitchison said: “There is a lesson there that nobody should accept what sales people say.”