Portland police park mix-up: Temporary officers' accomodation erected without planning permission

12:30pm Monday 23rd July 2012

By Rachael Burnett

A TEMPORARY ‘village’ to house police on Portland during the Games has been put up without planning permission.

A total 140 portable buildings have been sited at Southwell Business Park and will be there for at least 22 days.

They are to provide accommodation for more than 200 police officers drafted in for the Olympics .

A report in Friday’s Echo highlighted concerns the officers have over the suitability of their lodgings and the Police Federation called for a review.

Officers say facilities are appalling.

The police, however, have been praised for their Olympic preparations and are having to cope with the problems created by the G4S debacle.

Building on the site started on May 14 but the application was not submitted until June 12 and is currently awaiting retrospective approval.

Simon Williams who was planning manager at the borough council before being appointed head of the Weymouth and Portland 2012 operations team, said: “The application is going to the planning committee on Wednesday.

“An application wasn’t submitted before because the contractor didn’t think they needed it as the buildings are temporary”

Councillor Ian Munro-Price, who represents the Tophill East ward, said: “Obviously, anything that requires planning permission ought to have it and it should have been looked into properly.

“I can understand that if a mistake was made, they are trying to expedite the timescale.”

Len Naylor, who runs the Royal Victoria Lodge, in Portland Square, said: “The organisation for the Olympics on Portland hasn’t been very good from the start.

“They don’t consult us enough and it’s all been a bit of a shambles really.

“I think they should have used local hotels for accommodation, none of us have any bookings during the Olympics and they would get better accommodation than what they’re in now.”

Compass Point Estates, the company which submitted the application, was not available for comment.

'Our force deserves much better'

Portland Town councillor Richard Denton-White said: “If the objection is that the accommodation was put up without planning permission, I find that a bit laughable because the Olympics are one week away and the horse has bolted.

“On the issue of police accommodation, I believe our police officers are under siege from cutbacks from this country’s government and police officers should get first class accommodation. I am completely sympathetic with the objections about the apparent lack of reasonable accommodation. This is just typical of LOCOG and this coalition government. What a way to run the Olympics.”




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