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Row after politician claims he was ignored at Flintshire planning meeting

NOTE: This content is old - Published: Thursday, Oct 4th, 2018.

A row has broken out after a politician claimed he was ignored during a planning meeting.

Conservative councillor Owen Thomas was looking to put forward a recommendation to reject proposals to convert a post office in his ward of Cilcain, near Mold, into a holiday let.

However, he was beaten to it by Labour’s Chris Bithell, who backed the plans for approval in a meeting at County Hall in Mold on Wednesday.

Cllr Thomas accused planning chair David Wisinger, who is also a member of the Labour group, of deliberately ignoring him.

He said: “When you asked for a proposition, why did you look over to that side? You didn’t even look this way.

“I could have had my hand up and you wouldn’t have known, maybe we should check the webcam.”

Cllr Wisinger said Cllr Bithell’s proposals was chosen because he spoke first.

Following the criticism, a proposal was requested for a second time, but Cllr Bithell was again quickest to move the plans for approval.

Cllr Thomas then branded the situation as ‘a joke’ and criticised his rival for not being a resident of Cilcain.

In response, Cllr Bithell said: “I’ll remember that if you’re not a resident of a particular area then you can’t make any proposals in this authority and I hope that Cllr Thomas observes that rule as well.

“This particular application relates to a property that is within the settlement boundary as described in the Unitary Development Plan, and of course there is a presumption therefore in favour of such developments where they’re of an appropriate design and scale and they don’t conflict with other planning policies.”

The row rumbled on as Independent Alliance leader Mike Peers also criticised the committee chair.

Addressing Cllr Wisinger, he said: “I have to say as a member of the committee that I was completely embarrassed at the start of this item deciding who’s going to propose and who isn’t, I think we need to get that sorted.”

The conversion plans for the former post office on Ffordd y Llan were later approved after the majority of councillors voted in favour, with 13 backing them and five voting against.

By Liam Randall – Local Democracy Reporter.

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