THE Ombudsman inquiry into the CLS laundry case has found Teignbridge Council guilty of maladministration, but the action group that challenged the planning decision claims it has been hung out to dry with a £500 recompense.
Secretary of the Aller Park Residents Action Group, Mike Evans, said: 'It is OK if it comes to time and expenses for one person, but it does not compensate all of the residents who have to look at the laundry the same as I have to.
'They should compensate every resident who can see it.'
The payment, meant to 'recognise the time, trouble and costs the group had incurred since its foundation', has been recommended by the Ombudsman who has concluded that injustice had been caused by the maladministration.
It is found that Teignbridge Council has already 'substantially remedied' the injustice caused to others by implementing the controversial £12,000 planting scheme that will screen the laundry.
Mr Evans, who has sold his house because of the 'eyesore', said: 'We know that they will not remove the laundry so the only way is to hide it.
'The trees planted are so thin and scrawny that they will never hide a laundry in my lifetime.
'It's a stupid waste of money.'
The council worked alongside English Nature to decide on the landscaping scheme.
Evergreen conifers were considered unsuitable for the delicate newt ponds that needed natural light.
Throughout the two-year planning wrangle, the action group challenged the council's decision to allow the laundry.
It claimed that the application was inadequately publicised, that it was not reported accurately to the planning committee and that the condition to approve materials required by the committee was omitted from the consent.
The group also complained that inadequate consideration was given to landscaping the site.
Ombudsman Jerry White was called in after an internal investigation by Teignbridge Council revealed counts of maladministration.
Maladministration occurred because the officer's report to the committee inaccurately described the appearance of the building, but he concluded that members were not misled because other information correctly portrayed the building.
The Ombudsman found maladministration in the fact that the committee had required further details of proposed materials to be submitted and approved, but no condition to this effect was imposed.
The Ombudsman was critical of the committee minute, which was not precise.
He accepted that the impact of the building could have been lessened with different landscaping if the condition had been imposed.
l Continued on page 3
The Ombudsman found that publicity for the application was satisfactory and no maladministration was found in the way the council had approved the landscaping scheme.
Mr Evans said that the residents 'were not happy at all' with the Ombudsman's investigation and would be holding a meeting to discuss the outcome.
Assistant to the chief executive of Teignbridge Council, David Beer said that the findings would soon be advertised and the possibility of a public meeting would be looked into.
'The recommendation for the £500 payment will be decided by members of the executive committee and a report will go to members of the development control committee and standards committee.'
'We will consider our position. We already acknowledged maladministration so we were expecting that but there are some comments made by the Ombudsman that members need to discuss,' said Mr Beer.