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Letter: Is This Just Another Attempt to Smother Objections With Bonhommie?

Published on: 12 Jul, 2020
Updated on: 12 Jul, 2020

From Ben Paton

In response to: Developer Pledges ‘Full and Open’ Co-operation With Resident in Wisley Airfield Build

Presumably the Taylor Wimpey “consultation” will be done on the basis similar to that which WIPL has operated in the past.

1. Get as many people as possible who live miles from the proposed development to comment. That way the comments of the people who actually have to live with it are diluted.

2. Cherry-pick the comments that support the developer’s ideas.

3. Run out all the old chestnuts about the housing shortage.

4. Ignore all the factors over which the developer has no control, such as the effects on local roads and schools and other social infrastructure. Promise that central or local government will take care of these factors, knowing the developer can’t be held accountable.

5. Claim that because various agencies have not objected they are fully supportive of the plans.

6. Present building a SANG as a new park facility for residents and not a protection for local wildlife.

7. Avoid all difficult questions such as how much profit is Taylor Wimpey going to make?

8. Present all elements of the development that are required “mitigations” of its negative effects as net positives when in fact they are, at best, neutral.

9. Distract attention from the costs of residents having to hire a wildlife warden and subsidise and use a fare-paying local bus service.

10. Make out the whole development is a jolly and philanthropic exercise.

11. Publish the conclusions of the “consultation exercise” that are in fact already on the word processors of their PR advisers before anyone has said or written anything.

Is this not just yet another exercise in ticking the box that says, “Provide evidence that you have ‘consulted’ with ‘local’ people”?

Having had 10 years of this sort of exercise in manipulation with the Guildford Local Plan, this seems an attempt to smother the local populace with bonhommie in the hope that it will wash.

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test 5 Responses to Letter: Is This Just Another Attempt to Smother Objections With Bonhommie?

  1. Jules Cranwell Reply

    July 12, 2020 at 7:35 pm

    Well said Mr Paton. Just the sentiments of most residents.

  2. William Cole Reply

    July 13, 2020 at 4:40 pm

    Ben Paton’s comments are well listed.

    Now if only he lived in the Blackwater Valley, and Ash in particular, he would have good reasons to complain.

    Ash and Tongham residents are constantly told to accept more residents by people living comfortably east of Guildford in the hallowed “green belt”.

    Just because I am advocating a new village rather than having hundreds of houses tacked onto over-developed areas, we are warned of the impact on wheat production.

    Did any local farmers write to complain, or are the complaining residents commuters to London or Guildford?

  3. Ben Paton Reply

    July 13, 2020 at 6:27 pm

    Mr Cole’s letter has more inaccuracies per column inch than any I have ever read in The Dragon.

    Does Mr Cole have an interest?

    And yes, the local farm tenant lost his tenancy and is among those who have objected to development of the site.

  4. Jules Cranwell Reply

    July 14, 2020 at 5:56 am

    Mr Cole has made his motives clear, parochialism. For his information, the eastern villages no longer have green belt status. Cllr Spooner and Co have robbed us of it while attempting to gain new green belt status for parts of Ash.

  5. Pete Knight Reply

    July 14, 2020 at 7:39 am

    Why would the views of people who live miles away from the development dilute the locals’ views? Is it because most think this development makes sense?

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