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Government Planning Threat - Lib Dems respond

October 12, 2011 2:50 PM

Liberal Democrats on Wiltshire Council this week expressed their concerns over the changes to the planning system in their response to the government consultation.

Cllr Jon Hubbard, Lib Dem Group Leader (Melksham South) said 'The new proposals could allow developers free reign to build on greenfield sites, by overturning the current checks and balances, and giving developers 'presumed consent' to build anywhere, unless the council raises an objection. This is a real threat to communities and the environment in Wiltshire.

"Conservatives on Wiltshire Council and the Conservative Secretary of State have been equally unclear in defining what they mean by 'sustainable' development. One of our priorities is that a clear definition is placed on what 'sustainable' means. Wiltshire's Core Strategy, which fails to deal with development outside of Chippenham, Trowbridge and Salisbury, could be taken together with the Planning Reforms to allow uncontrolled building on our countryside. We've called on Conservatives on Wiltshire Council and the national government to look at this."

Cllr Brian Dalton (Salisbury Harnham) commented "The Conservative Secretary of State's commitment to truly sustainable development and localism is brought into question by the Salisbury Bishopdown Farm housing development. Here local councillors and the planning inspector were overruled by central government diktat. I'm worried the planning reforms will further crush local people's involvement in development."

Cllr Simon Killane (Malmesbury) commented "If the planning reforms can make the voice of local people stronger, I will support them. Currently however, they appear to be giving all the power to developers, and shutting communities out of the process. We're asking the government to change their proposals, and ensure that Wiltshire can develop socially and environmentally, as well as economically."


The full consultation response is at http://www.workingforwiltshire.org.uk/8-news/latest/150-lib-dems-on-wiltshire-council-have-called-for-urgent-changes-to-the-governments-planning-laws