After the controversial approval of Shepperton Studios expansion at an extraordinary meeting of Spelthorne’s Planning Committee on February 12th, a number of residents wrote to the Secretary of State asking him to “call the decision in”.
Spelthorne Planning approved the application even though the ‘very special circumstance’ used to counter inappropriate use of green belt was the interest of the national economy. Neither Spelthorne nor the Studios put forward any argument that our local economy would benefit.
This “call in” request should have amounted to an independent review of the entire application by the Secretary of State.
It was disconcerting therefore to receive a letter on 5th March from the Secretary of State’s office refusing to call the matter in. This letter states that “the application does not involve issues of more than local importance” and should therefore be dealt with by Spelthorne!