So after spending three years (and quite a lot of money) on developing a neighbourhood plan for our village led by our local councillor, with consultation from the Prince’s Foundation, we have discovered it was all a big government joke.
We might as well have drawn up the plan on the back of a fag packet with crayons for all the good it has done in shaping the council’s approach to development in the area. We had meetings to finalise the plan with all interested villagers having their say. The councillor even arranged for an exhibition in the village hall to showcase the agreed plans.
Then today we, and many others in the village, receive a letter from the council to say that a planning application had been made to build houses on land that we, as a village, had agreed would be used for a new village hall and recreation ground.
The Coalition Government’s Localism Act 2011 created the Neighburhood Plan concept to give local people the power to shape development and planning in their area. It clearly hasn’t worked. In fact it appears it was an empty promise. Is this some City joke that country gits don’t get – coz it ain’t funny…..
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