We set record straight on "wrangle" inaccuracy

We've set the record straight on inaccurate media reports claiming the District Council has refused Derbyshire County Council consent to extend planning permission for temporary adult care buildings in Matlock.

No planning application has been received from Derbyshire County Council to extend permission for buildings constructed in 1996. Eleven years ago the County Council applied to extend permission until the end of this year - and we granted that extension. No subsequent application has been received by the District Council.

Despite this, the Matlock Mercury ran a front page article in its 22 January edition claiming the County Council was spending £600,000 replacing the buildings "following a planning wrangle" after a planning extension was "refused by Derbyshire Dales District Council".

Paul WilsonIn the Mercury's letters page last week, the District Council's Corporate Director Paul Wilson wrote:

"The first rule of journalism is to check your facts. Sadly, your reporter forgot this rule in writing last week's front page splash '£600k office move after planning row'.

"There has been no row whatsoever (or "wrangle" as the article also described it) as part of Derbyshire County Council's plans to demolish a temporary adult care office block that is long past its sell-by date.

"Your article claimed that Derbyshire Dales District Council has refused a planning extension. Not true. We originally gave the County Council permission for the temporary modular buildings way back in 1996. In 2004 (11 years ago) County came back to us applying for an extension of planning permission, which was agreed from the end of the original permission (31 July 2006) to 31 December this year.

"While there have been informal conversations between officers of the two authorities since 2004, no formal application has been lodged by Derbyshire County Council or to Derbyshire Dales District Council for a further extension - so there is certainly no planning 'wrangle'!

"While the primary aim of this letter is to set the record straight and to correct the Matlock Mercury's potentially damaging misreporting, we also have to express our concern that your reporter didn't think to check the facts with us before publication. One phone call or email would have done it."

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