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Developer brands planners 'stupid' over rubbish dump
A CONTROVERSIAL property developer has labelled council officers “stupid” as he attempts to turn a plot of land in Oxford into his own personal rubbish dump.
Martin Young was yesterday defending his bid to turn the land in Littlemore into a dump at a planning inquiry triggered by an appeal.
The Headington Hill resident had appealed against Oxfordshire County Council’s decision to prevent him from having the site to the rear of Long Wall officially designated as a tip.
Yesterday planning inspector Chris Hoult came to Oxford to hear the arguments for and against the proposals.
Mr Young claims that because the site has been used for dumping rubbish for more than 10 years, it is already effectively a rubbish dump and therefore should be officially designated as one.
But the county council’s planning consultant Ian Prosser said the case law he used to support his claim showed no evidence for this.
Mr Prosser said: “Where in the cases you have mentioned will I find that dumping waste on a site will change its use in planning?”
Replying, Mr Young said: “I think that is a facile point. I cannot find the specific quote.
“I think judges are rather more sophisticated in their interpretation of the law than the council. I have not looked at it through those frankly stupid eyes.”
This prompted Mr Hoult to warn My Young to be “civil”.
Mr Young had applied for a certificate of lawful use, a process for making sure a development is lawful if it has been in place for an extended period of time, but it is unclear whether planning permission is needed.
But this had been turned down by the county council on the basis that the site in question had not been used as a dump, merely for a “series of small fly tipping events”.
Mr Young admitted that he wasn’t applying to turn the land into a tip because he wanted to use it as one, but only because he wanted to develop it. He said: “Nothing would please me more than finding a more constructive use for the site. If a certificate of lawful use were granted it would be granted on the basis that it would allow me to go to Oxford City Council and say that the land is previously developed.
“On that basis I believe they will take a different view towards it being developed.”
In 2010 Mr Young applied to build a single storey house on the site but this was thrown out by the city council on the basis that the land was previously undeveloped.
He appealed, but this was rejected, and has since applied three times for the site to be officially designated as a rubbish dump, in a bid to prove the land is developed.
Mr Young and the county council are both seeking costs against each other.
Mr Hoult is expected to issue a decision in the next few weeks.
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