I RECOMMEND taking part in The Hasting Planning Strategy, the final proposed version is for consultation until April 15.
The process has helped shape my scepticism. It is designed to empower people, make them think that they can control their environment, preventing unwanted and inappropriate developments that can so easily ruin ones quality of life and the environment.
Prior to the consultation, the planning department would have made developers aware of the need to submit their documentation. Comments on live planning applications can be submitted as part of the consultation process but will not result in changes.
Most of the remaining big spaces on the map that are allocated for housing were shown on the map with wording, already consulted on. I was assured that comments on these would be taken into account but that the designation would not change. No one seems to remember how these sites were allocated for housing or who chose them.
These decisions may have occurred during the 60s and 70s at a time renowned for bad planning decisions, many today think that the authorities are making similar mistakes today.
Did we really need to waste so much time and money just so the council can claim to have arrived at its decisions after consultation with the public? It is so deceptive, tricking people into believing that they can have influence on their surroundings.
During the process I asked, “What would happen if everyone in Hastings wrote in and successfully argued that an area was inappropriately allocated for housing?” The answer was that planning might start to look at areas within Hastings Country Park.
Before Shaping Hastings I thought that the only people with influence within the planning system were those wanting to build. Now I feel more certain that I was correct. However, we should all partake.