More news on ‘Core Strategy’ and saving agricultural land from development

Yesterday evening I had another meeting with campaigners from Lydiate who are determined to do all that is possible to save the unique character of the Lydiate community.
The public consultation process is now in full swing but I still worry that the code words ‘Core Strategy’ are far from a snappy way to get folks attention. Also, the posters produced by Sefton Council’s Planning Dept. are worthy but too cluttered to reach out and grab the attention of passers by.
The problem is that Planners are not necessarily good at communicating with the general public and I know that some campaigners are openly of the view that the process of engaging Sefton residents in the Core Strategy has been poor; indeed some think the process has been designed not to be easily engaged with. I can understand such frustrations but I also realise that poor communications do not mean that there really is a conspiracy to confuse residents. As I say, the problem is the delivery of understandable messages that residents realise they should engage with. If all this is going straight over the public’s heads then the Council will have failed to consult properly.
There is little doubt from my perspective that many of Sefton’s communities are potentially facing a process that could well lead to significant house building in future years. I know that in the East Parishes communities such building is not going down at ball well with those who have managed to engage with the Core Strategy processes.
But my bottom line is still the one that I have been banging on about for ages now. We have some of the highest grade agricultural land in England and it needs to be protected from building. Once it has gone it is gone for good! I am up for the fight to save Grade 1 and 2 agricultural land from development and I hope that many others are too.

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