Why it would be best to bypass our own planners

First published in Letters

THE planning row in Malvern Hills rages on. After the turning down of the appeal by the inspector of the proposed development at Hop Pole Green, Leigh Sinton, significantly on the grounds of unsustainability, we have realised several things.

The planning officers want development at any price because their professional reputations depend upon it.

The Conservative bloc on the northern area planning committee wants it at any price because members' political reputation in Whitehall depends upon it.

Meanwhile, the public realises the need for sensible development to provide housing but wants it to be strategic, planned with infrastructure to support it and respectful of the environment.

After the inspector turned down the Hop Pole Green appeal we concluded that it might be better if the planning committee and its officers were bypassed and that all proposals go directly to the inspectorate.

Why? All of the above, and because the head of planning, Duncan Rudge, declared publicly that the inspector was wrong to turn down the Hop Pole Green appeal and that if it were resubmitted he would recommend it for approval again.

I now have confidence that the inspector will interpret the National Planning Policy Framework correctly, but not Duncan Rudge or the majority bloc of the committee.

Hilary Thompson

Leigh Sinton

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