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Local Plan: Griff says – voice your opinion

TV personality and campaigner Griff Rhys Jones has fired a
broadside at the new draft Local Plan, which he fears is encouraging
“free-for-all development” to help solve economic problems.

He was in the city yesterday (15th May) speaking as
president of the campaign group Civic Voice and to launch the Canterbury Society’s
alternative publication, “The Future of Our City – A Residents’ Vision for

The society’s alternative vision has been produced with the
help of 15 other local residents’ groups who feel their views are often ignored
by the city council. It also believes building new homes in the district at the
rate of 500 to 550 a year – compared to almost 800 proposed in the Local Plan –
would be sufficient “to achieve realistic economic aspirations”.

Griff Rhys Jones wrote the foreword to the 43 page report,
which he says is a very important document for Canterbury, written by people
who really know their own city. He said:

“There are dark forces at work in the government. Some
are seeking to solve some of the general problems in the economy by proposing
free-for-all construction in badly-placed or out-of-scale developments. They
are promoting profit-led anarchy as policy. They want more development come
what may and loosening of the ties they believe prevent it.”

Speaking before the launch, he added:

“The results of a Civic Voice survey show that 63% of
people say that while they care about where they live, they have no influence
when it comes to responding to the major changes that impact on their area. So
it’s great to see the local community in Canterbury working together to put
forward their vision for the future.

The public needs to be aware that the
draft Local Plan is soon available for comment. I urge people to respond to it
and take the opportunity to voice their opinion.”

HB Gazette 16th May 2013

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