Plan has been undemocratic

I AGREE with Mr Ingleton’s comments that the Development Management Plan (DMP) has been undemocratic.

A recent outline planning decision in Victoria Avenue, Ore may be equally undemocratic.

I read Mr Boorman’s response this week and was dismayed he feels the consultations are effective.

The current consultation March 10 to April 22 was in my opinion dire. The online system for voting was complicated, and you needed expert knowledge to make a response. It took four days to work out how to submit my group’s response.

This was saved as a draft online, as the paper document version of the Hastings Development Management Plan Representation Plan, was not usable until April 9. It had not been available for 31 days of the consultation, as it had been supplied with only one part B of the response form.

You required a scanner or photocopier to complete the paper submission. The online system was not easy to use. I have been told it is a government system, and not under the local authority’s control. However it did not check draft-submissions until you actually sent in the response.

My own submissions failed when I tried to send them. I spent Tuesday morning forced to write summaries, and locate the hidden box for the reason you wished to attend the inspector’s examination.

At the Friends of Speckled Wood Management Trust consultation concerning Speckled Wood in Priory Meadow, I was surprised that of the 499 people interviewed not one had seen or read the copy of the DMP we had on display.

If this demonstrates the public engagement with this plan and the accessibility to the public, then the consultations have failed. Friends of Speckled Wood Management Trust has been forced for two years to run its own consultations to make accessibility easier.

The statistics which have been generated from our consultation show that the public want to engage, and have an opinion against the DMP.



Friends of Speckled Wood Management Trust