Shock suspension of Head of Planning at Oldham Council

After a formal request, Councillor Howard Sykes MBE, Liberal Democrat Leader in Oldham Borough has been informed that the Head of Planning and Infrastructure, Steven Irvine, has been suspended from the Council.  He has been suspended from duties whilst allegations of ‘gross misconduct’ are ‘fully investigated’.  

Councillor Sykes MBE wants to know how long for and what steps have been put in place to maintain a planning service.  “Currently it is far from perfect and I and other councilors are getting lots of complaints from residents and business,” stated Councillor Sykes.

“There is currently a large amount of public unrest in relation to the Planning Officer’s Reports in relation to two applications leading to decisions of approval:

1: PA/342008/18 Land at Hodge Clough Road Oldham

2. PA/343269/19 Land at Knowls Lane, Oldham

The implication of the approval for both these applications is significant, particularly in relation to openness, transparency and public confidence.”

“If it is the case that the allegations of ‘gross misconduct’ apply in any way to either of these applications, then I would ask that a similar process to the way that the approval decision for Saddleworth School was passed and then ‘revoked’, the decisions in relation to these applications are similarly ‘revoked’ and returned to the Planning Committee with appropriate reports for decision,” Councillor Sykes demanded.

“The impact of both these applications is huge, especially in relation to openness, transparency and public confidence.  People need their faith restoring in modern politics, the Liberal Democrats want answers for local residents.” 

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