A national issue, faced by many growing and expanding businesses across the country, is playing out on a local Midlands stage as family business, Oakland International, frustrated by the continued misrepresentation and inaccurate statements made to the media over their ‘plannersblockbusiness’ campaign, has issued a ‘public debate’ challenge to Bromsgrove District Council.
Oakland International Co-founder and Chief Executive, Dean Attwell, has issued the challenge he says in response to Bromsgrove District Council placing barriers to the firm’s growth.
“We started the business eighteen years ago in farming and have been quite successful in diversifying and growing to become a key local employer and a major food distribution supply chain partner working with small, medium and large producers supplying all major retailers in the UK and Ireland.
“In response to our ‘plannersblockbusiness’ campaign and our wish to rejuvenate an old disused and derelict building with a building designed to blend in to the landscape and importantly create a number of new local jobs to support new contracts won, the Council’s planning department seem oblivious to what we are actually proposing and remain blinkered, choosing instead to mislead our community about the facts.
“As a family business we deeply value our community, and like everyone else we support the protection of Green Belt when appropriate, but this smokescreen that we are flouting the rules has to stop, which is why I invite their head of planning and regeneration, Ruth Bamford, to have a ‘public debate’ on the issues surrounding Jobs versus Green Belt versus Green Fields, Bromsgrove Council’s view of retaining derelict and redundant buildings just doesn’t make sense!”
The Government’s own ranking assessment of planning authorities across the country place Bromsgrove Council 336th out of 336 authorities nationally, and has been placed in ‘special measures’ a new term created for the worst performing councils in the UK.
With Oakland’s campaign gaining momentum, other local businesses have started to make contact to share their views and experiences of Bromsgrove District Council’s negative approach to planning.
Visit (www.plannersblockbusiness.co.uk) and share your business planning authority experiences and you can download the ‘Application Refused’ single via iTunes to show your support, with all proceeds going to benefit the underprivileged in Redditch and Bromsgrove via the Oakland Foundation charity. You can also follow Oakland’s campaign on Twitter and Facebook