‘Under siege’ Crown Estate publishes open letter after being deluged with post over Poole’s marina (From Bournemouth Echo)
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‘Under siege’ Crown Estate publishes open letter after being deluged with post over Poole’s marina
THE under siege Crown Estate has published an open letter after being deluged with post over its preferred bid for a Poole quayside marina.
Residents’ associations, Borough of Poole, town MP Robert Syms and others have written calling for more information and meetings with the body after it emerged it favoured a proposal which would see a bridge, road and car park built in the harbour.
Neil Jacobson, rural and coastal portfolio manager for the Crown Estate, said as they had received interest from more than one party – Poole Harbour Commissioners and MDL – they had to decide on a preferred bidder.
“In deciding between competing parties in such situations, The Crown Estate is required by law (the Crown Estate Act 1961) to make decisions based on the best commercial proposition.
“This is the standard approach that any commercial landowner would take under the same circumstances,” he said.
“The process surrounding the leasing of land is not the same thing as the statutory consenting process and does not require public consultation. The Crown Estate is not a regulator, planning authority or, in this context, developer.
“Local councils and other statutory authorities decide whether a prospective development proposal should go ahead and make decisions regarding the appropriate level of public consultation required of a developer during the statutory consenting process. The Crown Estate only grants a full lease to a developer once all necessary statutory consents have been issued. MDL has not yet been appointed as preferred bidder and we have made no commitments on when we plan to make a decision on this matter.”
He said they planned to review the situation in the new year. “The widely publicised ‘decision date of January 14’ is not a date which has been published by The Crown Estate and we have never committed to make any decision by that date.”
He added: “At this stage in our evaluation process our discussions with MDL are commercially confidential so we are not in a position to reveal details about their scheme.”
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