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Thanet District Council chief executive Sue McGonigal on leave of absence as investigation into planning saga gets under way

By Paul Francis

A Kent council boss is on a leave of absence as an investigation takes place over claims about a planning application.

Dr Sue McGonigal, the chief executive of Thanet District Council, is away from her desk at the civic centre while an inquiry gets under way into the claims.

They focus on plans to build several hundred homes at a business park, a proposal that came from East Kent Opportunities - a partnership between Thanet council and Kent County Council.

Thanet District Council offices
Thanet District Council offices

Dr McGonigal is a member of the board of East Kent Opportunities. The application was eventually refused by the council last year.

A statement, issued in the name of council leader Iris Johnston, said: "A meeting of the General Purposes Committee was held on Tuesday 3 June and I have been informed the appropriate processes are being followed. Whilst there may be speculation in the public domain, the council will not be drawn on commenting on a confidential meeting."

The statement added: "I am sure both members of the public and the press will understand there is a process to follow in relation to allegations made against officers."

A separate statement confirmed the chief executive was away from her desk.

It said: "We can confirm that Sue McGonigal is on currently on leave of absence and Madeline Homer is deputising in her absence."

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