LETTER: Plans provide only limited protection

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Imagine the cost of producing Local and Neighbourhood Plans across the country, which must have run into many £ millions.

Councils were urged to complete such plans, to avoid having local planning decisions overridden by the unelected Planning Inspector (PI), only to find that they often provide limited protection.

Indeed, they were told that emerging plans would be given weight by the PI at Appeal.

It was thus interesting to see from page 25 of last week’s County Times, that the PI has permitted more speculative development (this time at Aldingbourne) against an emerging Plan and that a local MP has asked for new guidelines.

So having permitted a doubling of speculative green field development over the past four years - and having failed to deliver the promised Localism - the Government is now going to issue new guidelines, just in time for the election.

Do they really think that voters will be deceived by this? Unfortunately, the evidence that Localism has failed is right in their faces and no amount of spin and deception will hide it.

ROGER ARTHUR

Horsham district councillor for Chanctonbury ward and UKIP parliamentary candidate for Horsham, North Street, Horsham