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Sunday, August 7, 2011

Copy Paste from a .pdf File

OK this story is not particularly woodland orientated but it is yet another planning related letter. This time it's a recent letter sent for information to Midlothian Council and copied to the DPEA who put it on their site for a few hours. It was then removed. I took a copy as soon as I saw it.

The DPEA now have become embroiled in confusion. They didn't include the full text of the application title provided by MC (interestingly having removed the words "bank stabilisation") and they have posted a letter and then removed it. None of these actions can be credited to anything that we have said or done.

Moral of the story is - if you complain about confusion, look to yourself for the source before blaming someone else. And if you make something available to the public domain (and remember we have Freedom of Information in this country) then expect that it can be reproduced for ever after. Bit like our out of date web site showing our gazebo and a trial brochure that is out of print now. Some people have used this in a defamatory context and think they can get away with it. Now what is the legal status of the internet I wonder?

Here's the letter. You will have to stick with the text conversion out of a pdf file, it doesn't copy/paste all that well. I'm sure some fellow community councillors and councillor Beattie will be interested to read the version of events quoted in this letter.

I blogged it recently - the suggestion that we waited until just before a committee meeting to raise issues with the wording of our application - well this is now so well documented that the reporter from the DPEA will have a wealth of info at his disposal. Or can he not consider a letter that has been submitted for information only and was meant to be kept out of the public domain? But then why submit it to the DPEA at all if it wasn't meant to influence or guide. The reporter will be well versed in planning disputes I'm sure. I'm hoping he sees the wood for the trees! We can. Thank goodness for a blog site.

The Old Iron Mill,
Iron Mill Road,
Dalkeith EH22 UP.
25th July 2011.

Mr.Ian Johnson,
Head ofPlanning & Development,
Midlothian Council,
Fairfield House,
8 Lothian Road,
Dalkeith EH22 3ZN.

Dear Mr Johnson,
Planning Appeal Ref: PPA-290-2014
Appellant: Mr & Mrs Gerry Goldwyre
Planning Permission Ref: lO/006941DPP

In the course of reading the DPEA's on-line documents for the above Appeal, I was
horrified to read the contents of some ofthe documents submitted by the Council as
part of this. I am sorry to revisit this yet again, (you must be as weary as the rest of us
with this Application) but I'm afraid I cannot let some ofthe content go unchallenged.
Midlothian Council Documents (emaits to/from applicant) (doc 4 I think)
Your department reproduces an email from Mr Goldwyre, as part of your submission.
It was addressed to Ms Erika Pryde and dated Monday 29th March 2010. The subject
was: "Bowies complaint about our maintainance programme" so it is reasonable
to assume that the "couple" Mr Goldwyre is referring to is my husband and me. I
have no idea to which ofmy letters it refers, as in March 2010 I had no thoughts that
it might be useful to keep a file, in case I still needed it in 2011 !

There is a paragraph within this email which has no relevance whatever to the appeal
and I do not know why it has been included, as elsewhere you have extracted relevant
excerpts from documents. And what its inclusion has done is to reproduce and place
in the public domain a scurrilous attack on us which has no foundation in truth. I
have never seen this letter before, nor knew ofits existence, and have therefore never
had an opportunity to set the record straight.

The paragraph to which I object reads verbatim "The complaint you have received has
comefrom a couple who made complaints last year about the woodland that were
confirmed as completely unfounded *(my asterisk - see end of letter.) Such was the
extent ofthe intrusion into our property andpersonalisation ofthe issues with
complainants that we had to register these with the Police who then paid them a visit.
The complainants actually asked a councillor to raise an ASBO against myselfand
since this time these people have actually received our hospitality in our home!
Should this most recent complaint progress in a similar manner we will be compelled
to add this to the Police file. Apologies ifthis sounds in any way aggressive or
excessive in reaction but there is a long and complex history here and we have no
wish to waste further council nor Police time ifthis can be avoided In fact - ifwe
could have some council time, it would be better ifthis was directed at helping with
the root cause ofthe problem; the water run offfrom the tennis courts. "

We have NEVER been visited by the police in connection with Mr and Mrs

Last Friday I visited Dalkeith Police Station and have been assured by Station
Assistant 8529E that there was never any such complaint made, and that if there had
been it would have automatically been followed up with a visit, which it was not.
We have owned the Mill for 22 years. Much ofthis time we were not in residence, as
we lived abroad, and our first encounter with Mr & Mrs Goldwyre, was when trees
came crashing down the hillside and we walked up to investigate. I am therefore not
sure what the "long and complex history" refers to!

With regards to the ASBO story, here is what ACTUALLY happened. My husband
went up to Cemetery Road to see what was happening, because we had been shocked
to see so many large trees being felled. He was accosted by Mr Goldwyre and was
treated to a harang ofabuse because we did not like what was going on on the hillside.
Mr Goldwyre subsequently met Councillor Lisa Beattie in the street, and regaled her
with the story, making a fool ofmy husband in the process, and saying he had lodged
a complaint with the police against him. Councillor Beattie I believe, made a light
hearted remark to the effect that he should be careful or he might get an ASBO.
Councillor Beattie later recounted this story to us, unsolicited, and also said that Mr
Goldwyre was spreading unpleasant stories about my husband.

We can no longer walk with any comfort on Cemetery Road, a public road, and an
approach to our own house, as Mr Goldwyre always seems to materialise from
nowhere, to watch, or taunt.
We have never had hospitality from Mr & Mrs Goldwyre. We have twice been in
their house whilst attending the meetings ofan unrelated organisation, and whose
meetings rotated around members' homes. We also hosted a meeting at our house,
which they chose not to attend.

In a further email to Ms Pryde dated 30.4.10 Mrs Goldwyre then has a go. Again I
have never seen this email before, and again the part to which I object, has no
relevance to the Appeal in hand, nor does it represent the truth ofwhat happened. It
has no place in these documents either, and is equally scurrilous.
It begins: "Regarding the suggestion that trees were beingfelled, it is now somewhat
tiring " And ends with a second paragraph ".. before Gerry and I lose hair
(well mainly Gerry) and sleep over this nonsense."

The facts. Having spent much ofour life overseas until recent years, we had never
been involved with local affairs. And it was suggested to us that the correct forum for
voicing concerns about Mr & Mrs Goldwyre's various projects, at that time, was the
Eskbank and Newbattle Community Council. We decided to attend the next meeting,
and we tabled a question in advance, as had been requested. But the item on the
Agenda was passed over without our being given the opportunity to speak! At the
end ofthe meeting, the Chairwoman then invited questions from the floor under "Any
Other Business." Several people, including some committee members, had now left.
When my husband rose to raise his concerns he was cut short by the chairwoman who
said she would not preside over a spat, and then gave the floor to Mrs Goldwyre (her
colleague and fellow Committee Member,) and who spoke at length, according to her
own lights. The meeting was then adjourned. It took me several months to get hold
ofa copy ofthe Minutes ofthat meeting, which, when I eventually did, were not
representative ofwhat took place.

In this same email Mrs Goldwyre also claims that they had instructed their lawyer to
write to us. We have never received any such letter.

All ofthese diatribes cast doubt on our good name, and they have no relevance to this
Appeal. I ask therefore that Midlothian Council remove the relevant paragraphs
from its documents, with a published apology therein, for including this ''nonmaterial"
infOImation, and a note that I utterly repudiate the foregoing referred to malinformation.
For the record there are further inaccuracies in Mr Goldwyre's email. His first
paragraph reads: "Following your visit last week I have looked closely at our water
tower wood management plan. It clearly states ""as a main point ofconcern that the
erosion of the bank next to the tennis courts is likely to increase very quickly and
could become significant.,,,,
The phrase "as a main point ofconcern" is actually lifted from an earlier paragraph
(Conclusion) and refers to the safety of the large trees next to the steps etc and not to
erosion! Whilst this may seem a trivial misquote, if not corrected, it becomes
FACT! Mr McPhillimy's Management Plan does not raise bank erosion as a main
point ofconcern. It simply forms a part ofhis report. I draw attention to this because
it is indicative ofMr & Mrs Goldwyre's creative writing style!

A further example ofmisquoting comes from your own department, where you
misquote PP RP9. The policy states that development within this river valley
protection area "will NOT be permitted unless there is a specific locational need"
Whereas your department quotes the document as saying "development WILL be
pemitted where there is a specific locational need." This small alteration allows quite
a different interpretation to be put on the policy viz: your Department's interpretation
that because the Goldwyre's have built RP9 Cottage, there is an automatic locational
need for the hotch potch developments which form this Application!Appeal. No
there isn't! Perhaps had your department been more punctilious in its handling of
the various projects on this hillside, matters would not have reached their current
parlous state.

I regret the need to add further to the voluminous correspondence your department
has had to deal with in connection with Mr & Mrs Goldwyre, but I feel unable to
allow the fabricated content ofthese emails to go undefended. Mrs Goldwyre seems
unable to accept that we have a perfect right to object to her application, as she has to
defend it. And she seems unable to confine herself to the proper channels! My
family has been subjected to harassment and mischiefby both Appellants over the
course ofour objections to their activities on this hillside, and we consider this
beyond the bounds ofacceptable behaviour.

Just to be clear, I am not asking your department to take a partial view on this. I
simply ask you to acknowledge the irrelevance ofthe above paragraphs in your
Appeal documents, and to include my repudiation.
I do appreciate that you are busy, and that there is a world beyond Mr & Mrs
Goldwyre's woodland (would that they did!) but I would very much appreciate your
early reply to this letter.
Yours sincerely,
Millie Bowie.
* Confmned as unfounded by whom?
The Old Iron Mill,
Iron Mill Road,
Dalkeith EH22 UP.
25th July 2011.
Mr Ian Johnson,
Head ofPlanning & development,
Midlothian Council,
Fairfield House,
Lothian Road,
Dalkeith EH22 3ZN.
Dear Mr Johnson,
Planning Appeal Ref: PPA-290-2014
Appellants: Mr & Mrs Gerry Goldwyre
Planning Permission Ref: lO/00694IDPP

In connection with the above Planning Appeal, I note from the online documents
published by the DPEA that Mr & Mrs Goldwyre are now claiming that they have
never included bank stabilisation in their Planning application. This item has now
been removed from the description of their appeal by the DPEA

I have various letters on file to the contrary including one from Mr Peter Arnsdorf of
your department, dated 31 st May 2010 describing in some detail the "Bank
Stabilisation." And over the course ofthe last eighteen months or so, the structure in
question has been regularly referred to as such. I wonder why Mr & Mrs Goldwyre
have waited until just prior to the Planning Committee Meeting to dispute this?

If however, as Mr Goldwyre asserts, this is not Bank Stabilisation, perhaps we could
seek clarification from him, as to what is the purpose ofsome particularly ugly works
at "MiUie's Leap" and why, ifit is not bank stabilisation, does it not feature in this in
this application, under any other name? I note there are a couple of un-annotated
photos of this structure in the Goldwyre's original planning application.

The confusion over this planning application has now reached epic proportions, and
the volume ofmodifications, alterations, denials, assertions, changes ofdescription,
and direction, emanating both from the Goldwyres, and your department, make it
well nigh impossible for a third party to keep abreast ofmatters or even to make sense
Yours sincerely,

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