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NEWPORT CBC MAY USE HAGUE RULING TO AVOID PENALTIES

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Newport CBC planning committee may use the Welsh secretary William Hague's reasoning on an application because it i...
Newport CBC planning committee may use the Welsh secretary William Hague's reasoning on an application because it is worried that refusing an application might provoke surcharges.

The committee, reports the Western Mail (p5), has been unable to make a decision on an application from the land authority for Wales to create a 500 acre wetland on the Gwent Levels.

The paper says that many councillors felt threatened by a reminder last month that the district auditor, which monitors how councils spend their money, could penalise the council if the decision was not legally tight.

But now they may use the Welsh secretary's reasoning, with which he recently refused another application by the land authority.

Ron Jones, Newport CBC planning committee vice chair said that news from the Welsh office could make his colleagues more confident in rejecting the Gwent Levels bird reserve application.

'The wetlands is the same. It's exactly the same position. Are they going to surcharge the secretary of state?

'I think we will have to look at whether we can now say that the wetlands application is premature,' he told the papers.

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