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Here’s a thought: Let’s say
the city council in its draft Local Plan has either deliberately or
accidentally – overstated the number of homes which can be built in the
district over the next 18 years.
The council will endure a
year or so of sniping and criticism. Afterwards. it can produce a blueprint for
the future with a reduced number of homes.
That will go before the
independent planning inspector who may revise the figure still further before
he produces his final document, scheduled to be ready by the end of next year.
It means that the majority
Conservative group on the city council will have an extraordinary piece of
ammunition when it goes into the election year of 2015. It will be able to say:
“When you told us you wanted fewer homes, we listened and cut the number
in the plan.”
No doubt those creating the
plan will regard this as a cynical conclusion but it seems a difficult one to
ignore given the way politics at all levels has worked in this country for the
last 20 years or so.
It seems there are just too
many obstacles to the figure of 15,600 homes ever being realised – schools, healthcare, transport
and employment, to name a few. Meanwhile, the question of
homes is proving easily the most contentious aspect of this document. It
attracted more than 20 public speakers to last Thursday’s meeting (30th May 2013).
But one method of
guaranteeing that councillors are less receptive to your views is to rant at
them. Unfortunately, several speakers adopted unedifying tones last Thursday. Councillors are not aliens
bent on the destruction of the district. All of them are people who have chosen
public office because they think they can make things better.
And just like anyone else
they should not have to endure people yelling in their faces.
HB Gazette 6th Jun 2013