Royal Mail Refuses To Hold In Person Public Consultation For Residents

Residents of Patcham have been calling for a public consultation meeting to hear about Royal Mail's plans for an enormous industrial depot on the outskirts of the village and conservation area. 

We wrote to Royal Mail in an open letter to ask that they come and explain their plans and answer our questions. 

They replied to inform us that they had exceeded their obligation in regards to the planning application public consultation and said that residents must email their questions for their response. 

UPDATE as at 27th July: Many residents are still waiting on replies from Royal Mail to their questions so their promise to address concerns with residents directly earlier in the month is not being upheld. 

Below you will find our request for a real public consultation to take place and Royal Mail's response. 

Dear Vincent,

Could you please outline the reason why there will be no public consultation for this stage of the planning application?

The residents of Patcham appreciate that it was not possible to have a public facing meeting at the start of January 2022 due to the covid restrictions but no such restrictions are in place now.

We do not feel that the level of community involvement that Barton Wilmore delivered on the part of Royal Mail was sufficient as a public consultation. Many residents had no idea at the time there were these two “webinars” happening. Many didn’t have the technical skills to even attend the webinar as we have a significant elderly population.

Your own numbers indicate that this is the case, with only 49 emails received, 55 feedback form submissions and 96 attendees across the two webinars.  When the residents of Patcham were informed about the action you are intending to take, local campaigning generated over 850 objections lodged by residents.

Is there to be no further actual public consultation because everything has already been decided?

It should also be put on the record that your “webinar” was not a consultation, Royal Mail’s representatives picked and chose what they would answer from a questions box while we watched with no recourse but to type in unanswered questions again. It was not in any way a representation of having our voices heard. Royal Mail used it as a box ticking exercise so they could say they’ve engaged with the residents and stakeholders as part of their “Statement of Community Involvement”.

There is no excuse now to not have a proper in-person consultation where you answer our questions in public.

You’re in a position now to know how things will work at the site. Royal Mail know about vehicles, work schedules, machinery and the intricacies of the development plan as you’ve submitted the support documents to the Planning Authority. Why don’t Royal Mail come and put all our minds at rest and give us the answers to the questions we have?

We look forward to your prompt response as residents now only have three weeks with which to read tens of thousands of pages of technical information to understand the proposal.

On behalf of Patcham Residents.



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