A difficult decision to be made

I read with interest your coverage of the Local Plan, the comments attributed to Cllr Kirton and the letters from Cllrs Chilvers, Edwards, Bromley and Littlejohn.

Cllr Kirton states :”It’s pretty obvious that the Conservatives have met the residents of Northumberland Road.” There are three points, first, as a resident there myself I can assure Cllr Kirton that I have not been consulted by any MP, councillor or party of any hue. Secondly, if the Conservatives have met other residents, should they not be applauded for consulting their constituents? Thirdly, as I have not been consulted, perhaps they should be chastised for failing to consult me?

The letters from the other councillors are more balanced and clearly have some very good points to make. However, planning is always a very emotive subject with identical arguments being used by all communities that could be affected by large-scale development. Councillors and planning officers need to act objectively and I do not envy their job as their decisions will always be wrong in the eyes of the affected community, and right (or at least not as bad as the decision could have been) in the eyes of the communities that have ‘escaped’. Perhaps we should rely on their expertise in making these extraordinarily difficult decisions.

It seems to me that the fundamental problem is the size of the identified housing need as it cannot be sensibly located anywhere without disproportionately affecting any community. I suggest that all energies should be focussed on this fundamental issues, rather than any affected community or councillor being NIMBYs and trying to shift the council’s decision to other sites that have now been eliminated from consideration in the Local Plan.

Jeremy Sampson, via email