BBC programme shows highs and lows of planning in Cheltenham
IT may not be about to ignite a ratings war with other midweek TV shows such as Eastenders and Coronation Street.
But new BBC2 documentary series The Planners gave an insight into the process behind planning applications as it focused on decisions relating to two properties in Cheltenham.
Members of the borough council's planning committee took centre stage.
Scenes showed them conducting site visits, discussing the merits of applications with officers and handing down their decisions in the council chamber.
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The programme shone a light on the emotional highs and lows homeowners endure as their dreams hang on decisions made by experts at the Municipal Offices.
Councillor Les Godwin (PAB, Prestbury), a member of the planning committee who featured on the show said: "I would certainly encourage people to watch it.
"It gives a good insight into the planning process and shows just how emotionally involved many of the applicants get.
"To them an application relating to their home means everything and can really take over their lives."
In one of the applications featured in the programme, Pittville resident Geraldine Beaty spent more than £10,000 on an application for a dropped kerb outside her home to enable her to access parking via the front of the property.
Planning officers recommended the plans for refusal because it was within a conservation area where special rules apply.
Emotional scenes ensued as she confronted members of the planning committee conducting a site visit – getting into an argument with former mayor Barbara Driver.
Another application featured showed neighbours in Battledown attempting unsuccessfully to oppose an extension in the property next door.
The next episode of The Planners will be screened on Thursday at 8pm.