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05-11-2010, 20:11
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I've spoken before about my frustrations with these planning people. Having been told I could go down to an open surgery to discuss what I wanted and get advice on what they were looking for, I went and found the bloke very unhelpful. So unhelpful, in fact, that all his advice could be summed up in 2 words:

'Full Plans'

After trying to think of different ways I could get the ball rolling for the brewery, I started looking at industrial units around and about. One was next to an engineering factory - the smells would have tainted the beer. The next closest was over the border in England - about 5 miles over the border.

After actually giving up at one stage - I had the phone ready to tell a few brewers to put the word out I was selling the kit - we noticed something so obvious I'd missed it. We had that rickity old shed, the one with rats underneath at some time in the past, and woodworm and rot running all the way through it. The reason we'd ignored it was the brewing vessels were too tall for it. Taking pictures of the kit for ebay was when the obvious thing dawned on me. They had over 18 inches of leg that could be cut down.

Then we did the stupid thing. Everyone I've spoken to about this, including architects, has said I should have just done it. We were going to replace the shed with a brand new one - and had emailed the authority to tell them we were doing it, under the rule of an existing building can be replaced like-for-like.

They didn't like this, which is why I've had to take it apart and repair it rather than put a new one in. The reason I've re-capped all this? This program was on BBC1 Wales earlier this week, a half hour show highlighting just how poor the BBNP are. (The program is available on Iplayer here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/i/vnwf1/ until Tuesday evening). But a few stats it brings up:

69% of applications are dealt with within 8 weeks

A side note - when we were doing the work that started this blog, knocking through a main wall and extending the bar, something came to light about this. Their target is 8 weeks, otherwise you can start work if they haven't replied. When Dad had sent the form in, we heard nothing for 7 weeks 6 and a half days. Then they told us the wrong form had been filled in - we'd have to re-apply with the correct form. They kindly sent out the correct form - exactly the same one we'd originally filled in! Doesn't sound like a major problem, but we'd booked builders and prepared to shut the pub so the work could be done during the quite season. But the time they responded, a further 8 weeks, we were coming into season and couldn't shut. They delayed us for a whole year for no good reason

60% of appeals against their decisions were successful

Which to me suggests that they'd say 'no' within 8 weeks - hitting their target, but after an appeal (paid for by the person wanting to do the work) it would appear their answer was wrong 6 out of 10 times. In business results like that would lead to some heads rolling. Indeed Price Waterhouse Coopers slated them for it.

The Welsh Audit Office described the management as 'ineffective'.

The National Park is taking the Welsh Assembly to the High Court - cost so far £25 000 (taxpayer's money)

They lost an appeal, decided by the Welsh Assembly, so now they're taking them to court. Financed by you!

Last year the Park Authority cost taxpayers £800 000 and dealt with 350 applications

Compare this with Snowdonia National Park: £400 000 (Yes - half the cost!) for 440 applications

Hopefully this explains why some days I'm just not in a good mood. By the way, these officials aren't elected are are accountable to nobody.

Cheers indeedhttps://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/5810592934633194812-3836978062317774270?l=studentbrewer.blogspot.com

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