|A bulldozer in Lib Dem yellow livery|
Lib Dem Councillor Tony Woodhead amazingly makes a virtue of the Coalition Governments relaxation of planning rules (Examiner Letters 4/4/11). He quotes proudly from the Government Website 'Councils must ensure that they are not imposing any unnecessary burdens in the way of development'.
Theses so called planning 'reforms' were announced recently as part of the budget statement. There is to be a presumption in favour of development, quotas for bulding on previously developed 'brownfield' land are to be abolished placing more pressure on greenfield and greenbelt sites. Councils are to be encouraged to auction off land in their ownership. I find it unbelievable that the Lib Dems and their Conservative masters regard this as good news. Are these the same Lib Dems and Conservatives who are saying how keen they are to protect the greenbelt in their rather misleading leaflets?
The Campaign for the Protection of Rural England said of the Coalition Government planning statement,
"The planning measures present a potentially devastating threat to the countryside and are unlikely to boost long-term economic growth. To suggest, as successive Governments have done, that planning is a key impediment to growth is just wrong. The planning system exists to prevent unsustainable, unwanted and environmentally damaging development".
Councillor Woodhead and the Lib Dems/Conservatives cannot have their cake and eat it. They cannot claim to be in favour of protecting our local environment and be part of a government intent on selling it off for development.
Councillor Andrew Cooper
Green Party - Newsome Ward
Link to CPRE Website for referennce - http://www.cpre.org.uk/news/view/736