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Author Topic: FEATHERSTONE MASTER PLAN  (Read 5985 times)
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Posts: 1729


« Reply #20 on: December 27, 2008, 07:48:41 pm »

Mr Peter Box
Leader of Wakefield District Council
Chairman of the Master Plan committee
Wakefield Town Hall
Wood Street
West Yorkshire


Re: The Featherstone Master Plan part 2

At this meeting you stated that any points that required answers should be written down and handed in at the end of the meeting.
 As a member of the Featherstone master plan steering committee and having worked on the master plan for 4 years I have a number of concerns that appear to be ignored. I left a number of documents that still have outstanding answers regards the “master plan” from the last 18 months and agreed that questions raised from this meeting requiring answers would be written down.

Questions regard the Minutes of meeting 4th December 2008 Featherstone Master Plan

You explained that the final master plan document had been passed in council cabinet earlier this year and that the document was now being worked on by him and his regeneration team. Key goals are to regenerate the Girnhill estate and Station lane.
After a 10 minute talk including introductions you asked if any one had any questions. A reply was yes. Your reply was “we don’t won’t to be here until 8pm.” Perhaps more time and meetings should be allocated to Featherstone’s re-development.

Question 1: at the steering committee meeting of June 25th 2007 at Newton Bar the proposal for a better access for Featherstone rovers and a better community space by removing the buildings in front of Chesneys under the name of “Plaza” was put forward and agreed upon not to be put forward by a majority decision. At the following meeting on the 13th August 2007 the item remained on the agenda. Why had it not been removed if it was agreed to remove it?

Question 2:  the 13th august meeting was the final steering group meeting to finalize with DTZ the Featherstone master plan. It was the most unusual meeting I have ever been to in the way it was conducted.
The meeting opened and it was explained to us that 2 key people were missing and would arrive late. We were asked if it was ok and go straight to the presentation of D.T.Z. latest plan. We would return to the minutes as soon as the 2 people arrived. I then expressed that I had a number of issues with the minutes and passed D.T.Z. a copy of my concerns in writing. It was explained to me that they would come back to them as soon as the 2 people arrived. We agreed and D.T.Z. continued showing the final design. The Plaza area or post office road corner was then shown. This had changed with some buildings back again except the chip shop, corner flats and terrace houses behind but still not what had been agreed. I expressed my concern that the plan was still not as agreed. The 2 missing people turned up in the meeting. I requested to go back to going through the minutes. It was insisted that the meeting continue and the minutes be read at the end. I stated that the minutes were important to the discussion. It was explained that the D.T.Z. presentation was almost over and they should finish first. We agreed.
D.T.Z. finished and the meeting was brought to a close. I expressed that we still had not discussed the minutes. The chairman offered that the meeting close and I go through the minutes with a member of D.T.Z. I explained that the concerns I had with the minutes were for discussion with the group for the good of the project. It was then explained that 1 of the people we had waited for and the most important had to go. I was left with no choice but to agree as it was the only way I could supposedly officially lodge concerns that at some point will need to be answered. I gave details of my concerns and a copy of my notes. How can it possible that such an important meeting was allowed to be conducted in such an un-democratic way without any recall or investigation?

Question 3: At the final public and committee meeting of the second Featherstone master plan held on 7th September 2007 an alteration was publicly announced after overwhelming disproval.  It was agreed by all the members of the public present, steering group, district council and Denise Jefferies to remove the item named as “the plaza” from the plan before it went to cabinet. Denise Jefferies stated to the people present at the meeting that she would do this and notify the district council to confirm in writing it had been removed before going to cabinet. Written confirmation was received from Denise in January 2008 prior to the cabinet meeting that the “Plaza” had been removed. The final published plan by WMDC shows the “Plaza” still on the plans as a passed by WMDC cabinet item.
A: Why was the “Plaza” not removed from the plan?
B: Is it an offence for someone to put forward to WMDC cabinet a plan different to that confirmed by officials and public?
C: The final published plan is provably different from that agreed. Will DTZ be responsible for any alteration costs or the tax payers out of council monies?
D: The facts would suggest that some form of investigation takes place as public money may have been miss-used and procedure ignored. Should an investigation be held?

Question 4: At the Featherstone regeneration public meeting held 4th December 2008 you commented in to detail that people should not listen to rumour or bloggs on the internet. People should look at the plans that are widely available for the master plan and the recent proposed developments now logged with WMDC planning services and available on their website. I replied “can I confirm that the plaza has been removed. I have a letter dated January 2007 from Denise Jefferies that was copied to the district council that states that the plaza area has been removed from the final plan and did not go to WMDC cabinet as part of the final plan. The final master plan as shown on the WMDC website shows the “Plaza” still on”
 You then stated that the “Master Plan“available to view on the WMDC website was just a plan created by a company called D.T.Z. and was nothing to do with WMDC. You then commented and conferred with your colleagues that perhaps WMDC should provide public heath warnings for its internet pages stating they are nothing to do with them.
A: can you confirm the fact stated by you to the public that the master plan is nothing to do with WMDC?
B: can you confirm the fact stated by you to the public that the master plan for Featherstone is only a document produced by a company called D.T.Z. with no public money involved in its production?
C: according to documents within the public realm is it not correct that members of your panel present at the meeting are responsible for using public money to employ the services of D.T.Z. to produce the master plan on behalf of WMDC and the tax payers?

I and many others would appreciate your reply to the questions here written to which you publicly agreed to answer.
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