IN last week’s Gazette, Mrs Victoria Walters, a Wells resident, was concerned that she had been misled by assurances given by the chairman of Malvern Hills District Council.

I think she may be confusing me with the leader of the council, David Hughes, who expressed the views she quotes.

He got the earlier council decision on the South Worcestershire Development Plan reversed by having a further vote and persuaded sufficient councillors to support it together with the unusual step of applying a political whip to the voting.

I have been involved with the council since 1995 and until now we prided ourselves on planning matters being considered on their merits without political whips.

There are several more steps before the SWDP becomes fully approved.

Developers are free to make planning applications. I can assure Mrs Walters that most large applications will come before a planning committee of local councillors, taking each on its merits. As chairman it is my aim to persuade councillors to make their decisions as a result of information presented to them and the debate that takes place at the meeting – and never again for there to be any use of party whips in planning.

When the application Mrs Walters is concerned with comes to committee she and other residents will be most welcome to attend and see the democratic process. In the meantime, any residents can lobby their local members and copy their views to other councillors and the press.



Malvern Hills District Council