LETTER: Failure to protect countryside

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It is interesting to see Liz Kitchen (on page 35 of last week’s CT) seriously at odds with other Tories, suggesting with some admiration, that Andrew Baldwin might have to leave the Cabinet.

She praises him for standing by his principles, yet on page 21, she is amused at an ex cabinet member Roger Arthur, who displayed much more courage when he abandoned her party.

Whilst Mrs Kitchen is riding two horses, she has not indicated why there is a serious problem in her party’s Local Plan. Perhaps we can give her a clue.

The unelected Planning Inspector requires more than 1,000 new houses per annum, to be built over the next 5 years, which is clearly not going to happen.

As HDC can’t force developers to build, the inspector becomes free to permit speculative building on green field sites, classed by HDC as undevelopable.

Needless to say, if a more realistic (economically adjusted) objective were to be applied, then HDC would not be looking for over 2,000 houses in North Horsham.

So the next question that she might like to address is, who is responsible for not acting decisively, to protect the countryside?

Well surprise, surprise, it is none other than her own Tory Planning Minister, Nick Boles, aided and abetted by Eric Pickles.

Despite many representations to Nick Boles and local MPs, they have declined to curtail the inspector’s powers to make unreasonable demands.

If local members of the Coalition Parties can’t persuade their own MPs, then why should anyone vote for them?

In 2011, we were told that (under Localism) ‘Government is abolishing Labour’s Regional Strategies, putting elected local councillors back in charge, accountable to local people via the ballot box’.

Her leader must be glad to hear that she will always be a Tory, even when her own ministers treat her and the people, with contempt.

Fortunately a ballot box will be open on Thursday, in one of those rare opportunities for the people to have their say.

They deserve better and it is their chance to give the disunited Tories a ‘bloody nose’.

P.M. RANDS

Arun Road, Billingshurst