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7:30am Tuesday 24th December 2013 in Letters
THE total shambles of the SWDP from beginning to end, the mockery of consultation and democracy, the political manoeuvring, the cost to the taxpayer and the sheer waste of resources involved at a local level almost pale into insignificance when seen in the context of the Government’s ultimate responsibility for all this.
While Sue Connett is absolutely right in all that she says (December 13), it is the coalition Government which boasted of simplifying the planning rules and abandoning Labour’s topdown imposition of huge numbers of houses on a regional basis and replacing this Stalinist approach with ‘Localism’.
Nothing of the sort has happened. In practice, we have the same resort to government diktat by inspector and the same scale of massive urbanised development threatened right across the country. It is a developers’ paradise that this inept, careless government has created in its desperate bid to kick-start the economy and also house a growing population, and we can be sure opportunistic developers will take full advantage of it.
Before we hear the familiar, simplistic parrotcry about needing more homes, let it be said straightaway that yes, of course, we do, and especially affordable ones. But they do not have to be built just anywhere the developers choose for their convenience and maximum profit; they should be built first on the many brownfield sites available and, wherever they are built, in ways that complement rather than destroy one of this country’s most precious assets, its irreplaceable countryside with all its natural beauty.
There is absolutely nothing to choose between the arrogance of Conservative, Liberal Democrat or Labour politicians in the way most of them treat the electorate.
ERIC H JONES (DR) Malvern
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