West Worcestershire MP Harriett Baldwin raises development plan in Parliament

Evesham Journal: West Worcestershire MP Harriett Baldwin West Worcestershire MP Harriett Baldwin

A FURIOUS Worcestershire MP has attacked delays in getting the county’s main growth blueprint approved - saying “World War Two” took less time to sort out.

During a passionate Westminster debate this afternoon, Harriett Baldwin blasted the planning system as “byzantine” and said the county is being “strangled” by the delays.

The Conservative, who represents West Worcestershire, fears the South Worcestershire Development Plan (SWDP) hold-up “could easily run” to the end of next year.

As your Worcester News revealed last month the document is being revised after an independent inspector said the current 23,000 homes in it isn’t enough.

Inspector Roger Clews wants councils in Worcester, Malvern and Wychavon, which worked on the plan in a joint effort, to increase it by as much as 39 per cent.

Mrs Baldwin secured a debate on it at Westminster today, and said the delays are costing money, harming the economy and are bad for democracy.

She said: “Frankly, World War Two took less time than the bureaucracy and red tape surrounding this local plan.

“And what is worse, all this bureaucracy and red tape is actually strangling housing growth in our area.

“Our desire is to see house building start according to a democratically agreed local plan.”

She said it was being held up due to a “difference of opinion” over whether the 23,000 will be enough many years from now, despite all three councils agreeing to review the SWDP in 2019.

“We’re talking about a difference of opinion many years into the future, but it is not possible to have perfection,” she said.

“If we all had perfect foresight, we’d be able to retire as billionaire as we’d all know what the stock market prices would be.”

She also said councils are now “at the mercy” of developers submitting speculative planning applications which inspectors can overturn on appeal, labelling the system “byzantine”.

During the debate she called for any forthcoming appeals to be decided upon using the SWDP as an “emerging plan”, rather than ignore it, as is the current practise.

Her speech was backed by Worcester MP Robin Walker and Mid-Worcestershire’s Peter Luff, who also criticised the delays.

Mr Luff said: “It is crucial we get this plan approved as soon as possible - speed is of the essence.”

The district councils are currently working on a fresh formula which will lead to a new, higher figure for the number of homes in the SWDP.

Mr Clews will then have to resume his examination, and will either ask for more further changes or agree to give it the nod.

Mrs Baldwin said under a new timetable, the second part of his two-stage examination will only start in March, but it could be even later if more revisions are needed.

The SWDP also earmarks land for 30,000 new jobs by 2030.

Comments (21)

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5:45pm Wed 20 Nov 13

i-cycle says...

And who's to blame?

Eric Pickles and the Coalition Government who ignored professional advice and went ahead in introducing their flawed National Planning Framework.

The problems have been compounded as a result of the decimation of local planning departments and budgets which mean its all but 'open season' for developers with their deep pockets and access to specialist consultants.

Ironically all this has been done under a "Localism' banner which implies greater decision powers for local communities over what and where new development will take place.

Its great that our three local Conservative MPs are lobbying for change, but we wouldn't be in such a mess if the Government hadn't bowed to lobbying by the developers.
And who's to blame? Eric Pickles and the Coalition Government who ignored professional advice and went ahead in introducing their flawed National Planning Framework. The problems have been compounded as a result of the decimation of local planning departments and budgets which mean its all but 'open season' for developers with their deep pockets and access to specialist consultants. Ironically all this has been done under a "Localism' banner which implies greater decision powers for local communities over what and where new development will take place. Its great that our three local Conservative MPs are lobbying for change, but we wouldn't be in such a mess if the Government hadn't bowed to lobbying by the developers. i-cycle
  • Score: 9

5:58pm Wed 20 Nov 13

dulon says...

Not quite as simple I'm afraid . Everyone seems to be happy to blame someone else on this subject . We have had a 'localism' policy for years now the problem is that there always appears to be a 'sir Humphrey' in the way of getting anything done . What we need is a 'dictator' that gets things done . Democracy is okay as long as the opposition keeps quiet ! In order to implement the 'localism' policy vested interests and various 'quangoes' need to be circumnavigated .
Not quite as simple I'm afraid . Everyone seems to be happy to blame someone else on this subject . We have had a 'localism' policy for years now the problem is that there always appears to be a 'sir Humphrey' in the way of getting anything done . What we need is a 'dictator' that gets things done . Democracy is okay as long as the opposition keeps quiet ! In order to implement the 'localism' policy vested interests and various 'quangoes' need to be circumnavigated . dulon
  • Score: 1

6:41pm Wed 20 Nov 13

i-cycle says...

dulon wrote:
Not quite as simple I'm afraid . Everyone seems to be happy to blame someone else on this subject . We have had a 'localism' policy for years now the problem is that there always appears to be a 'sir Humphrey' in the way of getting anything done . What we need is a 'dictator' that gets things done . Democracy is okay as long as the opposition keeps quiet ! In order to implement the 'localism' policy vested interests and various 'quangoes' need to be circumnavigated .
Yep. Its called 'Strategic Planning'.

Exactly what Eric Pickles and chums considered to be 'Stalinistic' and what they got rid of.

Great isn't it when political dogma and factional interests get in the way of rational thought and effective Government.

And before you label me as a rabid Marxist, Labour were also blinded to the "bleeding obvious' in this and other policy areas because it didn't fit their own party view of the world.
[quote][p][bold]dulon[/bold] wrote: Not quite as simple I'm afraid . Everyone seems to be happy to blame someone else on this subject . We have had a 'localism' policy for years now the problem is that there always appears to be a 'sir Humphrey' in the way of getting anything done . What we need is a 'dictator' that gets things done . Democracy is okay as long as the opposition keeps quiet ! In order to implement the 'localism' policy vested interests and various 'quangoes' need to be circumnavigated .[/p][/quote]Yep. Its called 'Strategic Planning'. Exactly what Eric Pickles and chums considered to be 'Stalinistic' and what they got rid of. Great isn't it when political dogma and factional interests get in the way of rational thought and effective Government. And before you label me as a rabid Marxist, Labour were also blinded to the "bleeding obvious' in this and other policy areas because it didn't fit their own party view of the world. i-cycle
  • Score: 1

6:49pm Wed 20 Nov 13

Andy_R says...

Hands up who actually wants 23,000 new homes in South Worcestershire?

The SWDP is never going to be a "democratically agreed local plan" for 23,000 new homes, because the majority of people don't want 23,000 new homes, especially if they come with no guarantees of any additional infrastructure or actual real jobs (and no, labelling a few empty fields with 'we're crossing our fingers that 30,000 new jobs will magically appear here' doesn't count.).

Planning applications should be decided locally, on their individual benefits, and ramming an unwanted 'Development Plan' through that trumps real local decision in favour of arbitrary targets decided in Westminster is far worse for democracy than simply looking at the merits of each application properly.

The longer this unneccessary, expensive and pointless exercise in central planning and red tape generation can be held up, the longer we'll be allowed to make decisions locally. I hope it never gets finished.
Hands up who actually wants 23,000 new homes in South Worcestershire? The SWDP is never going to be a "democratically agreed local plan" for 23,000 new homes, because the majority of people don't want 23,000 new homes, especially if they come with no guarantees of any additional infrastructure or actual real jobs (and no, labelling a few empty fields with 'we're crossing our fingers that 30,000 new jobs will magically appear here' doesn't count.). Planning applications should be decided locally, on their individual benefits, and ramming an unwanted 'Development Plan' through that trumps real local decision in favour of arbitrary targets decided in Westminster is far worse for democracy than simply looking at the merits of each application properly. The longer this unneccessary, expensive and pointless exercise in central planning and red tape generation can be held up, the longer we'll be allowed to make decisions locally. I hope it never gets finished. Andy_R
  • Score: 5

7:03pm Wed 20 Nov 13

skychip says...

Well said the comment above.
Well said the comment above. skychip
  • Score: 2

7:04pm Wed 20 Nov 13

i-cycle says...

Andy_R wrote:
Hands up who actually wants 23,000 new homes in South Worcestershire?

The SWDP is never going to be a "democratically agreed local plan" for 23,000 new homes, because the majority of people don't want 23,000 new homes, especially if they come with no guarantees of any additional infrastructure or actual real jobs (and no, labelling a few empty fields with 'we're crossing our fingers that 30,000 new jobs will magically appear here' doesn't count.).

Planning applications should be decided locally, on their individual benefits, and ramming an unwanted 'Development Plan' through that trumps real local decision in favour of arbitrary targets decided in Westminster is far worse for democracy than simply looking at the merits of each application properly.

The longer this unneccessary, expensive and pointless exercise in central planning and red tape generation can be held up, the longer we'll be allowed to make decisions locally. I hope it never gets finished.
Good points, but the big problem with what you advocate is that Eric Pickle's National Planning Framework all but gives developers freedom to develop where they want if the local Council's can't agree and get a Development Plan approved.

Wychavon in particular have already suffered form this. The Government in their wisdom have decided that as Wychavon Council have less than their allotted 5 years supply of housing land identified, then developers will be allowed to more or less develop where they like.

Interestingly the majority of applications have been on the Wychavon side of the Worcester City boundary. Wychavon therefore gets the New Homes Bonus, Worcester gets the development and associated additional traffic congestion.

I assume the three local Councils thought the SWDP would get through as they had fulfilled Eric's 'duty to co-operate' requirement which replaced strategic planning guidance. Unfortunately the Inspector had a different view.
Either the Councils have to agree a revised SWDP that will keep the Inspector happy or it continues to be 'open season' for developers to determine where they think its best (and most profitable) to develop.

We're in a right Pickle!
[quote][p][bold]Andy_R[/bold] wrote: Hands up who actually wants 23,000 new homes in South Worcestershire? The SWDP is never going to be a "democratically agreed local plan" for 23,000 new homes, because the majority of people don't want 23,000 new homes, especially if they come with no guarantees of any additional infrastructure or actual real jobs (and no, labelling a few empty fields with 'we're crossing our fingers that 30,000 new jobs will magically appear here' doesn't count.). Planning applications should be decided locally, on their individual benefits, and ramming an unwanted 'Development Plan' through that trumps real local decision in favour of arbitrary targets decided in Westminster is far worse for democracy than simply looking at the merits of each application properly. The longer this unneccessary, expensive and pointless exercise in central planning and red tape generation can be held up, the longer we'll be allowed to make decisions locally. I hope it never gets finished.[/p][/quote]Good points, but the big problem with what you advocate is that Eric Pickle's National Planning Framework all but gives developers freedom to develop where they want if the local Council's can't agree and get a Development Plan approved. Wychavon in particular have already suffered form this. The Government in their wisdom have decided that as Wychavon Council have less than their allotted 5 years supply of housing land identified, then developers will be allowed to more or less develop where they like. Interestingly the majority of applications have been on the Wychavon side of the Worcester City boundary. Wychavon therefore gets the New Homes Bonus, Worcester gets the development and associated additional traffic congestion. I assume the three local Councils thought the SWDP would get through as they had fulfilled Eric's 'duty to co-operate' requirement which replaced strategic planning guidance. Unfortunately the Inspector had a different view. Either the Councils have to agree a revised SWDP that will keep the Inspector happy or it continues to be 'open season' for developers to determine where they think its best (and most profitable) to develop. We're in a right Pickle! i-cycle
  • Score: 2

7:25pm Wed 20 Nov 13

Andy_R says...

i-cycle wrote:
Andy_R wrote:
Hands up who actually wants 23,000 new homes in South Worcestershire?

The SWDP is never going to be a "democratically agreed local plan" for 23,000 new homes, because the majority of people don't want 23,000 new homes, especially if they come with no guarantees of any additional infrastructure or actual real jobs (and no, labelling a few empty fields with 'we're crossing our fingers that 30,000 new jobs will magically appear here' doesn't count.).

Planning applications should be decided locally, on their individual benefits, and ramming an unwanted 'Development Plan' through that trumps real local decision in favour of arbitrary targets decided in Westminster is far worse for democracy than simply looking at the merits of each application properly.

The longer this unneccessary, expensive and pointless exercise in central planning and red tape generation can be held up, the longer we'll be allowed to make decisions locally. I hope it never gets finished.
Good points, but the big problem with what you advocate is that Eric Pickle's National Planning Framework all but gives developers freedom to develop where they want if the local Council's can't agree and get a Development Plan approved.

Wychavon in particular have already suffered form this. The Government in their wisdom have decided that as Wychavon Council have less than their allotted 5 years supply of housing land identified, then developers will be allowed to more or less develop where they like.

Interestingly the majority of applications have been on the Wychavon side of the Worcester City boundary. Wychavon therefore gets the New Homes Bonus, Worcester gets the development and associated additional traffic congestion.

I assume the three local Councils thought the SWDP would get through as they had fulfilled Eric's 'duty to co-operate' requirement which replaced strategic planning guidance. Unfortunately the Inspector had a different view.
Either the Councils have to agree a revised SWDP that will keep the Inspector happy or it continues to be 'open season' for developers to determine where they think its best (and most profitable) to develop.

We're in a right Pickle!
Good points there too, i-cycle. Eric Pickles has pretty much put a gun to our heads and said 'agree the SWDP or else', and now we have Harriet Baldwin saying that listening to lo9cal public opinion and fighting against this top-down, central planing and bullying is somehow "bad for democracy". Perhaps she needs to look that word up in a dictionary?
[quote][p][bold]i-cycle[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Andy_R[/bold] wrote: Hands up who actually wants 23,000 new homes in South Worcestershire? The SWDP is never going to be a "democratically agreed local plan" for 23,000 new homes, because the majority of people don't want 23,000 new homes, especially if they come with no guarantees of any additional infrastructure or actual real jobs (and no, labelling a few empty fields with 'we're crossing our fingers that 30,000 new jobs will magically appear here' doesn't count.). Planning applications should be decided locally, on their individual benefits, and ramming an unwanted 'Development Plan' through that trumps real local decision in favour of arbitrary targets decided in Westminster is far worse for democracy than simply looking at the merits of each application properly. The longer this unneccessary, expensive and pointless exercise in central planning and red tape generation can be held up, the longer we'll be allowed to make decisions locally. I hope it never gets finished.[/p][/quote]Good points, but the big problem with what you advocate is that Eric Pickle's National Planning Framework all but gives developers freedom to develop where they want if the local Council's can't agree and get a Development Plan approved. Wychavon in particular have already suffered form this. The Government in their wisdom have decided that as Wychavon Council have less than their allotted 5 years supply of housing land identified, then developers will be allowed to more or less develop where they like. Interestingly the majority of applications have been on the Wychavon side of the Worcester City boundary. Wychavon therefore gets the New Homes Bonus, Worcester gets the development and associated additional traffic congestion. I assume the three local Councils thought the SWDP would get through as they had fulfilled Eric's 'duty to co-operate' requirement which replaced strategic planning guidance. Unfortunately the Inspector had a different view. Either the Councils have to agree a revised SWDP that will keep the Inspector happy or it continues to be 'open season' for developers to determine where they think its best (and most profitable) to develop. We're in a right Pickle![/p][/quote]Good points there too, i-cycle. Eric Pickles has pretty much put a gun to our heads and said 'agree the SWDP or else', and now we have Harriet Baldwin saying that listening to lo9cal public opinion and fighting against this top-down, central planing and bullying is somehow "bad for democracy". Perhaps she needs to look that word up in a dictionary? Andy_R
  • Score: 5

9:15pm Wed 20 Nov 13

dulon says...

Latest rumour is that our quota is to be increased from 23,000 to 29/30,000
dwelling by 2023 . Tally ho here come the builders !
Latest rumour is that our quota is to be increased from 23,000 to 29/30,000 dwelling by 2023 . Tally ho here come the builders ! dulon
  • Score: 2

9:47pm Wed 20 Nov 13

i-cycle says...

dulon wrote:
Latest rumour is that our quota is to be increased from 23,000 to 29/30,000
dwelling by 2023 . Tally ho here come the builders !
Hope they're all cyclists. Otherwise Worcester will be in grid lock for most of the day.
[quote][p][bold]dulon[/bold] wrote: Latest rumour is that our quota is to be increased from 23,000 to 29/30,000 dwelling by 2023 . Tally ho here come the builders ![/p][/quote]Hope they're all cyclists. Otherwise Worcester will be in grid lock for most of the day. i-cycle
  • Score: 0

9:47pm Wed 20 Nov 13

i-cycle says...

dulon wrote:
Latest rumour is that our quota is to be increased from 23,000 to 29/30,000
dwelling by 2023 . Tally ho here come the builders !
Hope they're all cyclists. Otherwise Worcester will be in grid lock for most of the day.
[quote][p][bold]dulon[/bold] wrote: Latest rumour is that our quota is to be increased from 23,000 to 29/30,000 dwelling by 2023 . Tally ho here come the builders ![/p][/quote]Hope they're all cyclists. Otherwise Worcester will be in grid lock for most of the day. i-cycle
  • Score: 2

11:11pm Wed 20 Nov 13

CJH says...

Anyone else sick of the WN using the word 'furious' to describe everybody even mildy upset about something? Other words are available...
Anyone else sick of the WN using the word 'furious' to describe everybody even mildy upset about something? Other words are available... CJH
  • Score: 7

11:58pm Wed 20 Nov 13

i-cycle says...

CJH wrote:
Anyone else sick of the WN using the word 'furious' to describe everybody even mildy upset about something? Other words are available...
No probs.

With the limited and decreasing circulation the WN has I doubt whatever it say has any real influence on things that really matter!
[quote][p][bold]CJH[/bold] wrote: Anyone else sick of the WN using the word 'furious' to describe everybody even mildy upset about something? Other words are available...[/p][/quote]No probs. With the limited and decreasing circulation the WN has I doubt whatever it say has any real influence on things that really matter! i-cycle
  • Score: 4

1:15am Thu 21 Nov 13

ed balls says...

Our trio of MPs need to wake up on local democracy .. Objections disregarded and they have the affront to speak for the people They and Labour have caused this ,no one else........do NOT count on my vote....step into my office........your sacked
Our trio of MPs need to wake up on local democracy .. Objections disregarded and they have the affront to speak for the people They and Labour have caused this ,no one else........do NOT count on my vote....step into my office........your sacked ed balls
  • Score: 2

1:26am Thu 21 Nov 13

i-cycle says...

ed balls wrote:
Our trio of MPs need to wake up on local democracy .. Objections disregarded and they have the affront to speak for the people They and Labour have caused this ,no one else........do NOT count on my vote....step into my office........your sacked
We certainly need to be encouraging them to challenge their own party colleagues to change planning policy so it is more responsive to local views rather than those of the developers.

Next time to vote is 2015!
[quote][p][bold]ed balls[/bold] wrote: Our trio of MPs need to wake up on local democracy .. Objections disregarded and they have the affront to speak for the people They and Labour have caused this ,no one else........do NOT count on my vote....step into my office........your sacked[/p][/quote]We certainly need to be encouraging them to challenge their own party colleagues to change planning policy so it is more responsive to local views rather than those of the developers. Next time to vote is 2015! i-cycle
  • Score: 0

10:28am Thu 21 Nov 13

Giorgos says...

As has been said before it is currently open season for developers and unscrupulous local landowners wanting to line their own pockets, From experience, the planning department of Malvern Hills District Council is running scared of any contentious planning appplication where the developers with their deep pockets are likely to appeal and there is a risk of having to pay costs. Irrespective of the feelings of the people that would be immediately affected by any such application they appear to want to pass everything. The planning department fail to deal with applications within the time limit leaving the developers the opportunity to go straight to appeal. This is decided by someone with no local knowledge and the local people who elected the council to represent them have no voice. The council then go through the farce of debating "what we would have done" if the planning department had got their act together and done their jobs properly. The SWDP is being forced upon us by the powers that be. I went to a "road show" for its predecessor and the council employees running it had no clue whatsoever about local infrastructure and even local planning rules which are there to try to protect the countryside. They had been told by local landowners that their land was suitable in all respects for mass development and they took this on without even bothering to check. If we are to build all these houses, then surely the local infrastructure should be in place first to accommodate them. Does the proposed development near Kempsey of over 2,000 houses come under the SWDP? It's bad enough now trying to cross the Carrington Bridge; can you imagine what it will be like should this development be approved? South Worcestershire is being assimilated into the commuter belt for people working in Birmingham. Didn't two West Midland councils complain about Worcestershire "stealing" jobs from them. If they want to protect their jobs then surely the workforce should be local! I spent 25 years living and working in the South East. I moved back to my home county to escape the hustle and bustle of the big city. I wanted to bring up my children in the countryside. Sadly it would appear that there will none left for their children. Wasn't the "Big Picture" supposed to protect the interests of local people, and weren't planning applications to be decided from the bottom up? It is failing miserably. Rant over.
As has been said before it is currently open season for developers and unscrupulous local landowners wanting to line their own pockets, From experience, the planning department of Malvern Hills District Council is running scared of any contentious planning appplication where the developers with their deep pockets are likely to appeal and there is a risk of having to pay costs. Irrespective of the feelings of the people that would be immediately affected by any such application they appear to want to pass everything. The planning department fail to deal with applications within the time limit leaving the developers the opportunity to go straight to appeal. This is decided by someone with no local knowledge and the local people who elected the council to represent them have no voice. The council then go through the farce of debating "what we would have done" if the planning department had got their act together and done their jobs properly. The SWDP is being forced upon us by the powers that be. I went to a "road show" for its predecessor and the council employees running it had no clue whatsoever about local infrastructure and even local planning rules which are there to try to protect the countryside. They had been told by local landowners that their land was suitable in all respects for mass development and they took this on without even bothering to check. If we are to build all these houses, then surely the local infrastructure should be in place first to accommodate them. Does the proposed development near Kempsey of over 2,000 houses come under the SWDP? It's bad enough now trying to cross the Carrington Bridge; can you imagine what it will be like should this development be approved? South Worcestershire is being assimilated into the commuter belt for people working in Birmingham. Didn't two West Midland councils complain about Worcestershire "stealing" jobs from them. If they want to protect their jobs then surely the workforce should be local! I spent 25 years living and working in the South East. I moved back to my home county to escape the hustle and bustle of the big city. I wanted to bring up my children in the countryside. Sadly it would appear that there will none left for their children. Wasn't the "Big Picture" supposed to protect the interests of local people, and weren't planning applications to be decided from the bottom up? It is failing miserably. Rant over. Giorgos
  • Score: -1

11:37am Thu 21 Nov 13

Casmal says...

i-cycle wrote:
ed balls wrote:
Our trio of MPs need to wake up on local democracy .. Objections disregarded and they have the affront to speak for the people They and Labour have caused this ,no one else........do NOT count on my vote....step into my office........your sacked
We certainly need to be encouraging them to challenge their own party colleagues to change planning policy so it is more responsive to local views rather than those of the developers.

Next time to vote is 2015!
Some excellent comments here - I especially liked your rant, Giorgos. It would have been better if our MPs had stood up for their constituents earlier and voted against the Government's plans for developer-led planning. The fact that they are doing so - or rather that they are being allowed to do so now is very telling. Clearly running scared!

As for the local plan being "democratically agreed" it shows just how much Harriet has ignored the pleas of Malvern Hills residents. In a completely free vote by District Councillors, this plan was very democratically voted down. It was only because of a very undemocratic process, which included the use of the whip by the Conservative Party, along with copious amounts of fear, false rumour and inaccuracy that this democratic vote was overturned and the SWDP voted through.

It now becomes clear just why they were so anxious to get that plan through - because, despite assurances to the contrary, Officers and Portfolios holders have not got a 5yr plan in place. We were told that the SWDP was vital, as it would stop ad-hoc developments, even whilst waiting for the Inspector's approval and that without it we would be at the mercy of developers. This is how the Conservatives turned the Council. We were also told the council did have a five year housing supply plan in place. This turns out to be incorrect. We now know that it is the five yr. housing supply that is of paramount importance. It is that which would have better withstood this dreadful rash of successful appeals by developers.

The council - and I blame both officers and leading councillors - should have concentrated on the five yr. housing supply and given more time for getting the SWDP right. Instead we have the worst of both worlds - a rash of inappropriate developments we are powerless to prevent and an SWDP which is going to do irreparable damage to our beautiful area.
[quote][p][bold]i-cycle[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]ed balls[/bold] wrote: Our trio of MPs need to wake up on local democracy .. Objections disregarded and they have the affront to speak for the people They and Labour have caused this ,no one else........do NOT count on my vote....step into my office........your sacked[/p][/quote]We certainly need to be encouraging them to challenge their own party colleagues to change planning policy so it is more responsive to local views rather than those of the developers. Next time to vote is 2015![/p][/quote]Some excellent comments here - I especially liked your rant, Giorgos. It would have been better if our MPs had stood up for their constituents earlier and voted against the Government's plans for developer-led planning. The fact that they are doing so - or rather that they are being allowed to do so now is very telling. Clearly running scared! As for the local plan being "democratically agreed" it shows just how much Harriet has ignored the pleas of Malvern Hills residents. In a completely free vote by District Councillors, this plan was very democratically voted down. It was only because of a very undemocratic process, which included the use of the whip by the Conservative Party, along with copious amounts of fear, false rumour and inaccuracy that this democratic vote was overturned and the SWDP voted through. It now becomes clear just why they were so anxious to get that plan through - because, despite assurances to the contrary, Officers and Portfolios holders have not got a 5yr plan in place. We were told that the SWDP was vital, as it would stop ad-hoc developments, even whilst waiting for the Inspector's approval and that without it we would be at the mercy of developers. This is how the Conservatives turned the Council. We were also told the council did have a five year housing supply plan in place. This turns out to be incorrect. We now know that it is the five yr. housing supply that is of paramount importance. It is that which would have better withstood this dreadful rash of successful appeals by developers. The council - and I blame both officers and leading councillors - should have concentrated on the five yr. housing supply and given more time for getting the SWDP right. Instead we have the worst of both worlds - a rash of inappropriate developments we are powerless to prevent and an SWDP which is going to do irreparable damage to our beautiful area. Casmal
  • Score: 1

11:38am Thu 21 Nov 13

dulon says...

I think that you are confusing 'soundbite' politics with reality . Localism is a very broad concept that has lured the electorate into thinking that their opinions are taken into consideration . From my experience over the last 5 years 'local' opinion and views and planners opinion and actions are completely UNCONNECTED .
I think that you are confusing 'soundbite' politics with reality . Localism is a very broad concept that has lured the electorate into thinking that their opinions are taken into consideration . From my experience over the last 5 years 'local' opinion and views and planners opinion and actions are completely UNCONNECTED . dulon
  • Score: 1

12:19pm Thu 21 Nov 13

js says...

In all this debate, nobody seems to mention all the good agricultural land being lost forever. Food prices go up, food imports go up, and we are growing houses on land that could be used to grow food.
In all this debate, nobody seems to mention all the good agricultural land being lost forever. Food prices go up, food imports go up, and we are growing houses on land that could be used to grow food. js
  • Score: 1

12:36pm Thu 21 Nov 13

dulon says...

js I refer your comment to the one that I have given before . The parish councils throughout the area have spent hours and years of unpaid time and effort to come up with local village design 'statements' . These are the fundamental building blocks of localism . We then have various tiers of development plans that include the SWDP . I know of no village statements that willingly agree to concrete over our green and pleasant land .
The problem that we have is that central government in the form of 'Dave' and co has dictated that these housing quantities are imposed upon our area ...end of . These quantities have no supporting proposals to provide jobs and infrastructure that is for the 'locals ' to sort out !
Our local MPs have awoken to this dilemma and are now on the 'soundbite' trail.
Just have a look at the candidates and their 'local' connections to the Luff seat that is to be decided tomorrow night . A cast iron tory seat that is being fought over by 4 outsiders with little 'real world' experience . But they did go to the right schools !
js I refer your comment to the one that I have given before . The parish councils throughout the area have spent hours and years of unpaid time and effort to come up with local village design 'statements' . These are the fundamental building blocks of localism . We then have various tiers of development plans that include the SWDP . I know of no village statements that willingly agree to concrete over our green and pleasant land . The problem that we have is that central government in the form of 'Dave' and co has dictated that these housing quantities are imposed upon our area ...end of . These quantities have no supporting proposals to provide jobs and infrastructure that is for the 'locals ' to sort out ! Our local MPs have awoken to this dilemma and are now on the 'soundbite' trail. Just have a look at the candidates and their 'local' connections to the Luff seat that is to be decided tomorrow night . A cast iron tory seat that is being fought over by 4 outsiders with little 'real world' experience . But they did go to the right schools ! dulon
  • Score: 1

3:34pm Thu 21 Nov 13

brooksider says...

What a crass stupid comment from the air headed Harriett Baldwin.
9 days after remembering the dead from two world wars, she comes up with this insulting comparison.
What a crass stupid comment from the air headed Harriett Baldwin. 9 days after remembering the dead from two world wars, she comes up with this insulting comparison. brooksider
  • Score: 5

6:31pm Thu 21 Nov 13

broadwas says...

brooksider wrote:
What a crass stupid comment from the air headed Harriett Baldwin.
9 days after remembering the dead from two world wars, she comes up with this insulting comparison.
Absolutely - she should be sacked,
[quote][p][bold]brooksider[/bold] wrote: What a crass stupid comment from the air headed Harriett Baldwin. 9 days after remembering the dead from two world wars, she comes up with this insulting comparison.[/p][/quote]Absolutely - she should be sacked, broadwas
  • Score: 5

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