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In Full . . .

Fighting for democracy

Posted on June 21 2008 at 5:40:25

In reply to a letter I wrote in May, Coun Roger Hollingworth said that he and Julie Kirkbride had made sure it (the affordable housing development in Ash Lane and Smedley Crooke Place, Hopwood) was presented to the full Planning Committee and the final decision by them must be based on planning policies.

I could not agree more with him that this was the right procedure, but my whole point that Coun Hollingworth seems to have missed is that the Planning Committee did not adhere to planning policies and went against the general consensus and used vague housing list figures to validate their actions.

By not adhering to planning policies and allowing the development in Hopwood, which he says “pales into insignificance”, a precedent has been set for Green Belt departure and the result is 3,300 more houses now being considered on further Green Belt land.

We the public will keep fighting and asking sensitive questions in an effort to protect this country and it would be nice to think we had the backing of our elected representatives.

If  local councillors and Government representatives had been more supportive and shown more foresight in fighting the Hopwood development on Green Belt land, then un-elected Regional Planning Partnerships and Spatial Bodies would not now have such a hold over them, and local people would be listened to a lot more.

I think it used to be called “democracy” but I may be wrong: it seems such a long time ago that the general public could make use of it!

Adrian Smith, Hopwood


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