This is why the south of England and the shire areas around London, otherwise known as the Home Counties, and in particular their weak political leaders, have made the planning system a nightmare for the whole of the country.
Planning in any area populated by the well heeled, well connected professional classes, is always a politically toxic issue. It must surely be one such area that the term NIMBY was invented for when it came to describing their reaction to any type of development proposed within their privileged bubble.
All the pent up frustration felt in these areas with what they saw as the unfair imposition of large swaths of housing on their lovely English villages, was directed at their local Conservative MP whenever the opportunity arose. Worst still, they would no doubt say, much of this housing was, in their view, going to be occupied by the wrong types of people.
Imagine their joy then, when the Conservative’s manifesto document, open source planning, became national policy and Eric Pickles its champion. Pickles managed to demonstrate his ineptitude in all things planning, with his false start at scrapping everybody’s regional plan. The rest as they say, is history and the result of all this mess is playing out in the story below, with others not far behind no doubt.
Councillor Caroline Reeves, leader of the Liberal Democrat group, said she welcomed the decision by Guildford Borough Council to consult the public on changes to the plan, but added that she feared several significant planning applications could be decided on appeal due to the delay.
Last Thursday (October 27), the borough council said the new local plan would not be submitted to a planning inspector until late next year and revealed there would be a further consultation with “substantial changes” to some of the strategic sites outlined.
Cllr Reeves said: “The Liberal Democrats welcome the proposal to reconsult on some parts of the local plan, in line with the Lib Dem amendment agreed by council back in May.
“As we said then…
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