05 October 2018
The Minister for the Environment, Deputy John Young, has responded to the findings of the Complaints Board, regarding the processing of the planning applications for Broughton Lodge Farm in St Mary.
In responding to the Board’s findings:
the Minister reminded the Complaints Board that the property-owner, Ivor Barette, had admitted contravening the planning law and was fined by the Royal Court for doing so. Mr Barette’s actions resulted in the permanent loss of part of a listed historic building.
however the Minister accepted that Mr Barette had found the process, and the behaviour of officers who dealt with this compliance matter, to be oppressive and that it has affected him emotionally and financially. Deputy Young believes it was regrettable that the department had not been notified of the history that existed between Mr Barette and one of the former compliance officers, which meant the department did not take steps to remedy this situation.
the Minister has confirmed that compliance practices have been reviewed and changed, with a more customer focused process now in operation. A more robust process for identifying and recording any conflicts of interest with officers is being introduced.
Deputy Young said: “The Planning Department has the difficult regulatory job of trying to help property-owners meet their aspirations while also ensuring that our heritage is conserved. Significant breaches of the planning law will prompt clear action. However, we must also ensure that Planning operates in as customer-friendly way as possible when undertaking such difficult work, and I will ensure that lessons are learned."