Fringe Box



Letter: Why the Former Council Avoided Sustainability in the Local Plan

Published on: 22 Oct, 2020
Updated on: 22 Oct, 2020

From: James Wild

I fully agree with Ben Paton’s letter, Local Plan Failed to Address ‘Sustainability’ in the Green Belt Developments. Sustainability was not an afterthought but ignored by Cllr Paul Spooner and his council in favour of their green belt sensitivity study between the Reg 18 and Reg 19 consultation.

Cllr Spooner, (who had just taken over from Cllr Mansbridge), in my view, saw that allocating many smaller sites on the edges of the villages caused too much political pressure on his Conservative council, with protesting residents even marching on the town hall before important meetings.

To try to appease his party he probably agreed to a consultant’s suggestion that they might be able to resolve the situation with green belt sensitivity work to find a compromise.

Regulation 19 came out having omitted many sustainably placed smaller PDAs [Priority Development Area] in favour of another big one at Garlicks Arch and pressure on the council moved to the lack of town centre developments.

The truth is that if you try to place housing close to existing amenities it is going to result in greater local opposition. Locate it away and the sustainability suffers. Politicians are not professional planners so a fair bit of the blame must lie with the senior planning executives at the council who have all probably left by now anyway.

The winners were the big four housebuilders and the lucky landowners.

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