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Local Plan Guidelines

By: Rob Sedgwick
Date: 23/07/2000

Local Plan Guidelines

News From 16th July 2000

New ground

We have been looking into government legislation and guidelines regarding formulation of local plans by district councils, and have come across what may be a significant paragraph.

The following paragraph is taken from Planning Policy Guidance

Pre-Deposit Consultation.

2.10 Local people and other interested bodies should have the opportunity to express their views on plan proposals before those proposals are finalised. The aim should be to encourage local people to participate actively in the preparation of plans from the earliest stages so that they can be fully involved in decisions about the pattern of development in their area. Consultation with the general public, community groups, conservation and amenity groups, business, development and infrastructure interests helps local planning authorities secure a degree of consensus over the future development and use of land in their area. It can also assist in reducing the time taken for plans to reach adoption by reducing the numbers of formal objections to policies and the time spent in the later stages of the plan preparation process

Having read that I found it strange that Lib Dem leader Andrew De Freitas complained about the amount of paperwork which had been sent to councilors to try to sway them. I quote from the GET:

Lib Dem leader Andrew De Freitas, complained about the amount of paperwork which had been sent to council-lors to try to sway them.

Calling the pressure disgraceful, Mr De Freitas said: "Do not make it (football) out to be some sort of religion that we all should fall for and accept."

Surely the club's survey of North East Lincolnshire homes, which effectively amounted to a referendum of the local population, should have been a key factor, given that the ground complied with all the other various requirements. It seems strange in my opinion that the only community group which was consulted appears to have been Great Coates Civic Society!

In addition NELC employ the services of a planning department, headed by Keith Archer, and paid for presumably by local people's council tax. Although Mr Archer's report recommended the local plan be changed, the members of council that were allowed to vote chose to ignore that advice, for whatever reason.

I am not a legal expert and the above is all just my opinion, but if you are a resident of North East Lincolnshire, and would like to exercise your right to, in the government's words. "express your views", then perhaps you might like to e-mail the NELC planning department and tell them how you think the local plan should be changed.

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