Jaguar in planning wrangle

SHAUN LOWTHORPE Council chiefs are in the firing line after allowing the installation of a Jaguar jet memorial at County Hall - before getting planning permission.The fighter plane, a tribute to the links between Norfolk and the RAF, touched down at its new home from RAF Coltishall earlier this month.

SHAUN LOWTHORPE

Council chiefs are in the firing line after allowing the installation of a Jaguar jet memorial at County Hall - before getting planning permission.

The fighter plane, a tribute to the links between Norfolk and the RAF, touched down at its new home from RAF Coltishall earlier this month.

But the authority has admitted the jet was given clearance ahead of official planning permission - which is due to be rubber stamped by councillors on Friday.

Labour councillor George Nobbs, a member of the county council's planning regulatory committee, said while he supported the installation, the back to front timings sent out a poor message to the public.

“On Friday we will be going through a charade,” he said. “It's a shambolic way of doing it. There's no reason why they couldn't have got planning consent before-hand. Anybody else out there who fails to get planning permission would face enforcement action.”

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Paul Adams, the council's director of corporate resources, said there had been no statutory objections from official bodies.

He said: “Members of the county council's cabinet decided unanimously in January to site RAF Coltishall's Jaguar memorial in the grounds of County Hall.

“We did receive a single objection late in the consultation process but because the specialist team required to put the Jaguar in place could have been called away at any time, and given the clear mandate from cabinet, we decided to keep to our original timetable.

“It is unfortunate the works had to be implemented at risk, prior to the decision being taken, but planning guidance states that if approval is likely, there is no reason to halt a development - and that the matter can be dealt with retrospectively.