I WOULD like to comment on the letter by Richard Brennan (Gazette, April 19) on the subject of awareness of planning applications, in particular the one for a proposed new touring caravan site in Climping.
While I totally agree with his statements about the need for villagers to attend parish council meetings and so become a part of the decision-making procedures, I must say that in this instance the parish councillors were as surprised by the application as he was.
If he had attended the parish council meeting on March 8, he would have found that the item was not even on the agenda, as we were in complete ignorance of the application. It came to our notice shortly afterwards and we had to arrange an emergency meeting to vote on the issue, as the deadline for comment was before our next scheduled meeting on April 19.
All attempts were then made to inform the village residents about the meeting and, as a result, we had the largest public presence in living memory!
It is true to say that there are serious flaws in the system that allows this to happen. While it is normal practice in large, contentious projects such as this for the developer to have public consultations beforehand with those likely to be affected, it did not occur in this instance.