Day one at the Inquiry – Tuesday 15th November 2016 (click here to view)

The inspector appears very approachable.  She started by explaining about public involvement and asked for names of anyone present who would wish to speak.  A few people responded.  She had also had emails from some others.

She will hold an evening session on Tuesday 22nd November in the Weeley offices.  Anyone else who wishes to speak should contact Leanne Nicholas (email: lnicholas@tendringdc.co.uk).  The inspector has not stipulated any time limit but depends on how many wish to speak.  She realises that some may not be available and so will try to arrange a slot for them during the daytime sitting.

Anyone wishing to speak should provide something in writing in advance – doesn’t need to be detailed – just a series of bullet points will do initially but she would like a copy of the final version.  She hopes that people will not repeat what has already been said.

Mr Village (counsel for the appellants’) will cross question any speaker if he wishes to as will the inspector.

Mrs Mahony also indicated that it would be possible for people to ask questions of witnesses from the floor during the inquiry provided it was in relation to their verbal statement.

The inspector said that she had read through all the individual objections submitted as well as the documents from the main participants and identified what she considered were the main points of contention which were:

  1. Setting of the Priory – character and appearance.
  2. The conservation area.
  3. Community infrastructure.
    • Education.
    • Medical.
    • Highway safety.

4.   Conservation.

  1. Future of the Heritage Asset and prospect of delivery and consequences of not being passed.

Mrs Mahony said she had been on a site visit to the Priory but would do a second one and also include the wider area once she was more familiar with the situation.  She has already had a request from someone who would like a visit.  Anyone else who wishes her to visit should register their interest with Leanne Nicholas and explain why a visit would be useful.

Following a suggestion by the inspector, Dr Lee had been appointed by the appellants’, TDC and HE to produce a jointly agreed report concerning the Conservation Deficit and the Residual Value.  Dr Lee was to be the first witness but the report was not complete because he was waiting for some minor information from a third party.

It was agreed to hold over Dr Lee’s report until it was complete and progress to Mr Drury’s evidence. However Mr Village pointed out a problem in that some of his questioning of Mr Drury related to some aspects contained in Dr Lee’s report.

Eventually, it was agreed to proceed with Mr Drury leaving out appropriate parts which would be recovered at a later date.

The main part of the inquiry started with Counsel reading through their opening remarks that took the rest of the afternoon.

Mr Drury will be the first to appear on Day 2.