Fringe Box



Letter: Residents Are Right to Stand Up for Their Local Area

Published on: 6 Jan, 2017
Updated on: 6 Jan, 2017

From Ben Paton

Residents are absolutely right to care about and stand up for values such as the quality of their local environment in terms of housing density and public amenities such as road transport, availability of schools and doctors’ surgeries.

Expressing these concerns is the right of every British citizen. It is also a fundamental part of Localism.

Sadly, if experience elsewhere is a guide, residents can also expect to be subjected to abuse such as accusations that they are “Nimbys”, that they are opposed to all forms of development and that they are motivated only by a desire to “maintain the value of their properties” whilst denying the less fortunate access to housing.

The Executive of Guildford Borough Council, which includes a chartered surveyor and mortgage broker among its members, continues to criticise others for defending their own interests but seems predisposed to promote all forms of development, apparently in order to obtain subventions from central government.

It is a crying shame that the Church of England should have sold out to a property developer and chosen to adopt the same tactics as other huge corporate interests.

It is a serious concern that developments such as this may be discussed behind closed doors between the major interest groups (the landowners, the builders and the council) without the rightful interests of the people who are actually affected being represented.

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