MP calls for investigation into U's planning decision

7:00pm Tuesday 15th January 2013

AN MP has accused Colchester Council of “failing to do a proper job” when it granted permission for a football club to use its village training ground for longer.

Councillors gave the green light for Colchester United to increase the number of hours players can use the Florence Park training ground, in Grange Road, Tiptree.

But now MP Priti Patel, whose Witham constituency covers the village, has called for an investigation into how the U’s application was dealt with.

She said: “I have lodged a formal complaint to the council’s Chief Executive and have asked that the independent Local Government Ombudsman intervenes as local residents have no confidence in the council.”

She added: “Residents have been badly let down by Colchester Council, who have failed to do a proper job with this application.

“Residents have no confidence in the council and it now needs to take a long hard look at itself and how it has handled this issue, which has been shambolic from the start.”

A spokesman for the Local Government Ombudsman confirmed a complaint has been received.

But Tim Young, borough councillor responsible for planning, has defended the decision.

“Raising the issue like this is fanciful and gives the residents false hope,” said Mr Young.

He added: “The council has done nothing wrong and I am absolutely and totally satisfied that we have done everything by the book."

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