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Letter: I Find GBC Extremely Disappointing

Published on: 1 Aug, 2021
Updated on: 1 Aug, 2021

From: Sue Reeve

In response to: We Can’t Simply ‘Unbake’ the Local Plan

I totally agree with Cllr Rigg that we do need housing and we should certainly build on brownfield sites first. However, we need the houses that the area needs, genuinely affordable housing (not the government definition) and not executive homes.

What is so depressing is that GBC seems not to be applying this requirement in their planning decisions (don’t even get me on the subject of the developers, having been given permission for a development, using “viability” to change the actual proportions of houses on the site, which inevitably reduces the number of lower-cost housing considerably). The developers love greenfield sites as they are cheaper to build on.

Even more depressing is that our council doesn’t seem at all committed to the very urgent action required to do all it can to alleviate climate change.

In Horsley, have recently had a so-called “consultation” with Taylor Wimpey about yet another proposed greenfield site. When asked about building 100% carbon-neutral homes, their fixed response was we’re only required by GBC to achieve 20 per cent reduction in carbon emissions. This Local Plan goes out to the mid-2030s, at which time 20 per cent is far too late for our planet.

There is supposedly a review of the Local Plan taking place. It is an absolute necessity that GBC drastically changes its stance on carbon emissions. GBC also needs to be far firmer on building the housing stock we need, taking into account the changing population numbers being recalculated by ONS.

Our local villages were strongly encouraged to develop Neighbourhood Plans under the banner of localism; all the time and effort that communities put into getting them adopted by GBC, seems to be absolutely wasted as they are being completely ignored.

It is a fact that developers pay themselves enormous annual bonuses. They should be made to apply some of that money for the greater good. Of which of course, donations of over £17.9 million to the Conservative party don’t help at all.

All in all, I find GBC extremely disappointing.

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