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Freedom of Information Request

Amended request regarding the response to request 4355396. Planning Fraud 5791568

Received: 29 January 2020

1. Regardless of when he was first aware of the case and became involved, can you confirm specifically that the then Leader ( Councillor Cornelius) officially referred this case, or re- referred it to the Monitoring Officer shortly after the 14th December 2017 and that he provided the Monitoring Officer with all the paperwork which I and a witness gave to the then Leader on the 14th December 2017, during our meeting with the then Leader at Hendon Town Hall?

2 Can you please confirm that the Monitoring Officer then thoroughly investigated the case HIMSELF , and studied the evidence and documentation provided to him?

3 Can you please confirm that as part of this investigation, the following people were among those communicated with and questioned:
A The main case officer and any other officers involved
B The applicant who posted the fraudulent application
C The applicant's agent

4. Why did the Council conclude that: the case officer's failure to invoke the Fraud Policy, to show due diligence, to contain and address the contents of the solicitor's representation received in his report to the Planning Committee and to regard the solicitor's letter as putting the Council on notice that the application was unsound, did not constitute wrongdoing? Please refer to each of the 4 elements above in this response.

5. Following investigation, why did the case Officer accept the word, ' in good faith,' of the applicant, who had already breached planning control, over the word, in a formal letter, of a solicitor, which was corroborated by the other owner?

6. Why did the case Officer, following the Planning Committee meeting, write formally to the solicitor and tell him that his comments had received ' careful consideration' by the Planning Committee, when he knew that not to be possible?

After thorough investigation, why did the Council conclude that this action was NOT wrongdoing?

7. In a response to me of March 2018 from the Monitoring Officer and more recently in the poorly detailed FOI response, I was told that , in reference to the conduct of planning officers in this case, including their failure to apply safeguards:

' Council officers acted lawfully and correctly in causing a decision to be made by the Council.'

What does the Council mean by this sentence, with particular reference to the verb ' causing'?

Outcome / Documents

  • Response (not held) - application/pdf - Download

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