Day 9 of the Inquiry

Whole day spent with Indigo (Audley Avenue) retail and planning consultant giving evidence and being crooss examined at length by St Modwen’s QC. Very much a rerun of the arguments rehearsed at the Audley Avenue superstore Inquiry in May 2012, the only difference being that Morrisons are now signed up, albeit with an exit clause built in.

The evening session was given over to local interested parties, and, in front of a packed gallery, the Inspector heard from Cllr Tim Nelson (Chair of Planning, Newport Town Council), David Parker (Chair, Newport Regeneration Partnership), Katie Foster (Market Towns, Heritage and Regeneration expert), Mike Atherton (Interim Town Team Manager), Cllr Adrian Meredith (Newport South and Newport Town Council), Pat Beech (Chair, Newport Chamber of Commerce), Cllr Andrew Eade (Church Aston & Lilleshall), Nigel Dugmore (T&WC Plans Board member and Chair of the Conservative Association), Janet Clarke (Village Green witness and former planning officer). All presentations were excellent, delivered with authority and without repetition (at the request of the Inspector). It was described afterwards by one observer as the best public session he had ever witnessed, high praise indeed.

Tomorrow sees the appearance of SNC’s QC Anthony Crean, who will be finishing the cross examination of the Council’s planning consultant on open space issues. This will kick off at 11.00 and last approx 1 hour.

The Inquiry is now behind schedule given the length of time it has taken to cross examine witnesses, so will go into a further 2 days at least, the timing of which has yet to be agreed, and dependent on legal counsels’ and consultants’ diaries.

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