AUBREY Ingleton does not deserve to be chastised for writing on behalf of a great many residents who I know have been in real difficulty exercising their right to object to parts of the emerging Local Plan.
If indeed all of them had attended planning meetings (as referred to by Kevin Boorman), they would have learned precisely nothing about the progress of this plan for our borough - reference to it has been made only to cabinet and full council.
It cannot have escaped this council’s attention that, while innumerable consultations were indeed undertaken, no one thought to set up a process whereby interested members of the public could get essential help and advice as to how to meaningfully object. It was all so complicated and whether this was due to this council or central government is hardly relevant. It has happened, and efforts should have been made to simplify the process.
So far, throughout the sessions held in the presence of the appointed Planning Inspector, only one councillor (the lead member for planning and regeneration) has thought it necessary to attend, yet this will be the plan for the borough’s development until 2026.
Would it have been too much to ask that local councillors contacted their constituents on such an important matter to try to avoid the sense of helplessness so many complained of?
Fortunately it seems that a significant number of local people have managed to have their say by the appointed cut off time - whether or not the majority will be passed on for the Planning Inspector’s perusal, or will be dismissed as not conforming with the criteria, is a moot point.
For those who care about what gets built where, now and in the future, this seems to have been a sad case of mismanagement.
PAM BROWN, OBE