Wednesday, December 04, 2019


When retail giant Aldi submitted further plans for its new store now being built off Bridge Street, Brigg, town councillors had to turn  the clock back and use an old-fashioned method to study the details.
North Lincolnshire Council - the local planning authority - used to send printed details of local planning applications to town and parish councils across the district. However, this method - employed since the days of Glanford Borough Council in the 1970s - was discontinued and lower-tier authorities like Brigg Town Council were told they would instead have to visit the North Lincolnshire's online planning portal to view applications on the website and submit any comments prior to North Lincolnshire planners making final decisions.
However, when Brigg Town Council's Planning & Environment Committee held its latest meeting in the Angel Suite, it soon became clear that councillors and staff had been unable to access full details online relating to Aldi's application for new store signs.

Chairing the meeting, Coun Brian Parker, the Deputy Town Mayor, pictured above, said it was impossible to get the information to display.
However, ahead of the meeting, quick-thinking Town Clerk Dinah Lilley contacted North Lincolnshire Council and managed to obtain the required information. She produced print-offs, in paper form, and these were passed around the table, from councillor to councillor.
Following discussion, Aldi's application - seeking advertisement consent for a free-standing double-sided sign and three illuminated building fascia signs - brought no objections from Brigg Town Council - "providing that the free-standing sign does not impact on visibility for road or pavement users."
North Lincolnshire planners will now decide whether to grant permission to the discount retailer.
Brigg Blog also tried, and failed, to access details of Aldi's application online prior to attending the town council planning meeting.
We alerted North Lincolnshire Council's technical staff and its press office about the problem and on the morning following the Brigg meeting noted that full details of Aldi's application were showing correctly on the planning portal.
We also received a helpful email from the North Lincolnshire Council, with a hyperlink to the relevant page on the planning portal.
Generally, this online system works very efficiently - with an obvious saving to 'the public purse' in printing costs, staff time and postage at North Lincolnshire Council.
At its latest meeting, Brigg Town Council's Planning & Environment Committee was also informed that North Lincolnshire planners now wants additional information sent to them about applications.
Brigg Town Council often informs planners that it is "in support" of particular applications. However, from now on, it will be required to specify the reasons WHY support is being given.
Most applications are now decided by planning staff; only a few go before the monthly meetings of North Lincolnshire Council's Planning Committee, which is chaired by Brigg & Wolds' Coun Nigel Sherwood.
As a matter of policy, objections being lodged by parish or town councils lead to those applications being placed before the unitary authority's Planning Committee for councillors, rather than staff, to make final decisions.
When we used to report on Glanford Borough Council planning meetings in the early 1980s, all applications were decided by the Planning Committee, which had more than 40 members who travelled in to what's now the Hewson House office block in Brigg from as far afield as Killingholme - to consider each application in turn... printed out on very thick agendas!
However, there was a benefit to the Brigg economy. With various committee meetings being held in the morning and afternoon every Thursday, councillors (and the press) would go for lunch in Brigg town centre and, in some cases, shop in the town. The Angel Hotel gained most of this lunch-time trade, serving lunches accompanied by a pint or two.

PICTURED: An artist's impression, provided by Aldi, showing how the store will look, once building work has been completed.