September 23, 2020

Generally appearances are generally everything

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There is a general appearance to the general public that generally the Central Planning Authority (CPA) will generally be on the side of the big developer no matter how much they (the public) protest or object to the project that is before the CPA for consideration. You can object to the Cabinet and object to the CPA’s Appeal Tribunal but generally that is going to be a waste of time unless there is an election looming and by Cabinet giving their approval to the project is going to lose them some valuable votes.

That is the situation here and it is the situation generally everywhere. However, what the powers that be, who make these decisions, do not want is a perception they are generally working against Mr. Average Joe.  If they have made an unpopular decision they generally would like it to die a natural death. The longer they can keep this unpopular decision out of the media the better they like it. As I said that is generally the case.

Not here. I am talking of the Emerald Sound development where on 4th August the CPA approved the plan by RC Estates’ Rene Hislop to build 81 homes canal-side involving an 80 foot inland shift that will increase the value of 22 seaside lots owned by Mr. Hislop. The development was hotly opposed by a large group of the public, especially South Sounders (ProjectSouthSound being one such group) who feared drainage, pollution and flooding issues in an area that already has these problems.

The general appearance to the South Sound objectors was the CPA were 100% for the project because of the timing they had set for the hearing of objections. The general public outside the group being affected by the development were divided and when the announcement came one group either shrugged or nodded whilst the other group was generally shocked.

The opponents of the development are licking their wounds and getting ready for another battle. They want some momentum in their opposition campaign to gather strength. They placed signs on their own land along South Sound Road saying, “NO to canal, dredging, bridge and road relocation.” This was their free publicity campaign and only the people who drove along the South Sound Road could see it. The Director of Planning, Mr. Pandohie, head of the body that is generally trying to appear to be neutral and gives go aheads only to good planning ordinates that benefit this country, has publically announced he has initiated action to remove these 24 “NO” signs posted along South Sound Road. “They didn’t have planning permission”, he said. He further warned if the owners fail to take down the sign “their names and addresses will be forwarded to the CPA who will issue orders to remove them. Failure to remove could result in a series of fines and summonses.”

I expect the 200 plus members of the ProtectSouthSound group are quaking in their boots. But the developer is not cheering Mr. Pandohie. The general public generally sides with the general public and the one thing they abhor is the mighty hand of public servants who receive their pay from the general public wielding a mighty big stick against them.

Mr. Pandohie has now made the headlines, again. The Emerald Sound protestors have got wonderful free publicity in the media, again. Their protest campaign is back on track. The Developer is wringing his hands and poor Mr. Burns Conolly, the Architect for the project, will have to go back into the Dragons Den again.

Generally, you don’t want the general public united in force against you when you have made an unpopular decision and there is an appeal looming. Generally you don’t want to anger them even more.  Generally you turn a blind eye to a little mouse that shouldn’t be there but is an irritant only. Generally you don’t want to awaken a dragon. You want to appear to be on the side of the public if you are a public servant and paid by them.

Generally.

 

 

 

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