False promises

I WAS most pleased to read in the County Times of October 13 of the support by Green MP Caroline Lucas to the National Trust’s petition against the planning reforms.

It is most reassuring to know that we (objectors to the National Planning Policy Framework) have an ally in the House of Commons.

If only more of our elected ‘representatives’ would listen to the people.

This was one reason why members of The Campaign to Protect Rural Pulborough Village attended the protest organised by Hands Off Our Sussex Countryside outside the Conservative Party HQ in Worthing on Saturday October 15 – we need to let our councillors and MPs and ultimately the developers themselves know that we are not going to back down under a barrage of insults and false promises.

The protest, to CPRPV members at least, was not just to demonstrate against the draft NPPF but, as a consequence of this, to restore democracy to Sussex residents.

The Government is using the buzzword of ‘localism’ in their planning reforms and even have a Bill named after it – the ‘Localism Bill’.

However, this ‘localism’ will take away the liberties of Sussex communities even further.

The ‘Localism Bill’ for instance, while removing the South East Regional Spatial Strategy as set out under Labour, will take away the rights of local residents to oppose unsuitable developments – we will only be able to ask for more houses not less!

The NPPF goes even further and places the control of housing quotas in the hands of developer consortiums where local authorities do not have an up-to-date planning framework (does anywhere in the Horsham district have an up-to-date framework?) and not only removes the right of communities to object to unsustainable developments, but it will also prevent our local planning authority (Horsham District Council) from opposing any such developments.

How can a situation where we are being dictated to by businesses be classed as ‘localism’ and ‘people power’?

This is why the NPPF is rightly being labelled as a ‘Developers’ Charter’.

MARTIN DALE

Secretary,

Campaign to Protect Rural Pulborough Village

Stane Street Close, Pulborough