As reported in the Henley Standard, Councillor Paul Harrison has criticised his own Planning Department in the strongest possible terms:
“The planning department is too large with too many officers who are more interested in seeing developers as their customers rather than the residents of South Oxfordshire.
“They’re looking out for their own jobs and throwing the rest of the district away.”
He added: “Too many of the councillors go with the officers every time.”
Cllr Harrison said the planning department should be placed in special measures and that government planning inspectors should decide whether major developments should be allowed.
He said planning officers were also expected to recommend approval of an application by Gladman Developments for 245 homes at the edge of Emmer Green in the parish of Eye and Dunsden.
The plans are opposed by residents, neighouring parish councils and Reading Borough Council.
Cllr Harrison said: “They are minded to approve the Gladman application. The area between Emmer Green and Sonning Common is outside the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and Gladman are aware of that and they have got the money and the legal teams to fight the decision with an inspector.
“They then give the land over to developers who come with different plans of higher density. That is the problem.”