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Update on St James’ site cancelled because of paperwork error

By Victoria Chessum

Progress talks on the Dover Town Investment Zone (DTIZ) were cancelled on Tuesday because the public inquiry is still open.

Head of inward investment Tim Ingleton was set to update residents on the St James’ redevelopment, which has been neglected for more than a decade.

But council bosses said it would “not be appropriate” to discuss the topic while the inquiry remains legally open.

County Hotel
County Hotel

Although the inquiry itself has been held, a mistake in paperwork meant it could not be officially closed, and it was adjourned for another 14 days.

The public inquiry opened on September 30 to look at the compulsory purchase of land in the St James and Russell Street area. This includes the County Hotel, and Burlington House.

However, public notices put up around the town did not provide the correct details of the place and times of the inquiry. They had to be removed by the council to rectify the error.

The lifeless Dover Town Investment Zone area, due to be developed.
The lifeless Dover Town Investment Zone area, due to be developed.

As a result, the council’s barrister Melissa Murphy and the inspector Susan Heywood agreed that the inquiry would be adjourned for an additional fortnight.

The planned update from Mr Ingleton was thereafter withdrawn from Tuesday’s agenda for a scrutiny meeting, which still went ahead at the district council offices in Whitfield.

A letter, signed by the chief executive of the district council, Nadeem Aziz, said: “The council has received legal advice that while the inquiry is still open, it is not appropriate for the council to enter into any further public discussions on DTIZ.

“Accordingly, following consultation with the chairman, this item has been deferred until the inquiry has been concluded."

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