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Sunday, 25 September 2011
What Colour Do You Want The Front Doors?
The Tory government, with its Lib Dem side-kick is intent on gathering in power to Westminster. This is all being done under a cloak of 'localism' or 'empowerment'.
For example we are continually told that the localism Bill will give power to local neighbourhoods to plan how they want their development. This is quite simply not true. Unless a local neighbouhood actually desires to concrete over every square inch of green (in which case it can demand that the local planning authority does just that), it will have no greater opportunity than to say what development goes ahead than to (maybe) determine the colour of the front doors of the houses that have already been pre-destined for its locality.
I recently wrote to Cornwall Council to ask what help the Council would have to assist neghbourhoods in producing a local plan. Part of the reply included this telling phrase:
"Furthermore, I would ensure you are clear as to what you would be
seeking to get out of the process - to ensure that a Neighbourhood Plan
is indeed the right approach to be taking. A couple of points to be
clear on is that a Neighbourhood Plan has to be in conformity with the
Cornwall Core Strategy (i.e. the neighbourhood plan has to plan for
housing/economic growth which is at least of the same scale as the Core
Strategy is targeting for Illogan, or in excess of it)."
So there you go. At least the same scale as the Core Strategy, or in excess of it. Lys Kernow is under no illusion as to what powers neighbourhoods will have - isn't it about time our 'local' Westminster politicians were just as honest with us?
Local neighourhoods will only be able to increase levels of development which are set by Cornwall Council. In turn Cornwall Council will have to base their development strategy on a policy of a 'presumption in favour of development' imposed by London.
What colour should we paint the front doors?