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Inquiry Reports

Friday, February 6, 2009

Day 37 – Desperation Kirkby laid bare

The final day of the inquiry had arrived and the mood was light hearted. The programme officer was walking around in an Everton shirt with PARKER emblazoned on the back and KEIOC presented Robert Elstone with a birthday present – a KEIOC car sticker that he appeared pleased with.

Once the inquiry had reconvened for the day KEIOC were immediately down to business. With the importance given to the closing statements KEIOC were concerned about the amount of inaccuracies, misleading and discredited statements there were being presented during the applicants closing submission. This concern was so great that KEIOC made an official approach to the programme officer. After consulting with the planning inspectors the officer invited KEIOC to make a separate submission to the Secretary of State regarding our concerns. This will be done in due course.

Mr. Patrick Clarkson QC presented the closing submissions of behalf of the applicants. His version of events can be read here.

Mrs Burden in closing the inquiry revealed that whilst she was aware of the urgency surrounding the outcome of the inquiry, due to the complexity of the case it would be at least five or six months before her report was ready for the Secretary of State to consider. KEIOC expect a decision no earlier than autumn 2009.

This inquiry has seen separate approaches taken by the opposing parties. The proponents had continually relied upon the interpretation of planning policies while the opponents had relied upon the stated wording of those same planning policies. Who will be successful? It would be a brave person to predict the outcome of the Secretary of State's deliberations.

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