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‘Impossible‘ to balance my views with policies – Gollop

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DEPUTY John Gollop has said in his resignation letter that he found it impossible to balance his own views with that of the Development & Planning Authority planning policies.

Deputy John Gollop. (Picture by Adrian Miller, 24431991)

The move came after increased scrutiny of the former DPA president, when he said he thought he might not be the right person to lead the authority.

Last week he said that, in hindsight, the decision to allow development of a large residential house at Cobo, which had attracted many objections, should have been made by the political board, rather than the professional planners.

In his resignation letter to Bailiff Sir Richard Collas he said he had mixed feelings and emotions about stepping down after three years in post.

‘I now believe the time is right for me to move onto other political and personal challenges, and as a critical scrutineer and backbencher,’ he said.

‘I need for health reasons to take a reduction in workload for the next few months to spend more family time, and recuperate from a period of illness. I realise I do not have the fitness, material resource, robust strength, time, support and energy to lead an increasingly contentious high-profile principal political role in a new and different direction.’

He said for many months he had been struggling with his political beliefs and conscience.

‘I realise the strain of co-ordinating and balancing by consensus an organisation, whose policies and executive decisions and methods of working I personally do not always fully agree with, an impossible challenge,’ he said.

‘I feel as a matter of personal honour and political integrity to stay on in the role of president would be to risk significant damage to the reputation of the States, the highly able and professional planning service, the electorate and wider environmental landscape and community.’

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He said he no longer felt comfortable fronting media releases and responding to questions and queries from States members.

‘I hope the States clarifies the expectations of political governance for planning development decisions and policy regarding the amount of delegation, interpretations and decision-making in terms of the balance between appropriate professional judgement and political adjudication,’ he said.

‘Having led the Island Development Plan, I feel it inappropriate and unwise for me to boldly lead planning forward in a more acceptable pragmatic democratically accountable direction: that is another reason I have to resign.’

  • Nominations have opened for the role, with a States member needed to complete Deputy Gollop’s term to June 2020. The candidate cannot be a member of Policy & Resources or a member of the Committee for the Environment & Infrastructure.
Juliet Pouteaux

By Juliet Pouteaux
News reporter

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