I've blogged before on the rumpus surrounding the raising of the height of an argae (a flood defence embankment) at Pool Quay, near Welshpool in Montgomeryshire. Though the issue is too complex to make the news, in my opinion it is a story that warrents national attention. Local feelings are running very high. The current state of play is that the Assembly Minister (on the basis of an Inspector's Report) has decided that the argae can be raised to protect a listed building, Trewern Hall, even though it will increase (slightly!) the risk of flooding of perhaps 30 nearby properties. Understandably, these property owners are very upset. There's also the matter of full costs being awarded against the Environment Agency, which could land the taxpayer with a bill approaching a million pounds. I promised to keep you posted on developments.
I'm not expecting any final decisions, or action on the ground, until the three months within which the Environment Agency can appeal has passed. But there is the unfinished business of planning permission, which is still required. The Local Planning Authority, Powys County Council refused planning permission for what the Minister has now effectively approved, in 2005. I'm told that the appellant has today submitted another planning application, similar to that which was previously refused. I imagine that this may cause a bit of a problem for the planners. If an application, very similar to one previously refused were to be approved, there could well be a case for referral to the Ombudsman - with significant financial consequences. Perhaps there will be an effort made to refuse to register the application, unless sufficient changes are introduced to accommodate a claim that its a different application. I'll report on this next week. Just keeping you informed - and don't blame me for reporting this. That's like kicking the postman for delivering bad news!
UPDATE - I'm told by someone who knows this issue far better than I do that 'slight' is not the appropriate word. I was trying to remember what the Inspector said. George's comment is worth reading.