Sefton’s foggier Local Plan – Another guest posting from Peter Greener

The mist has not cleared and the fog thickens by the day! Lydiate resident and environmental campaigner Peter Greener writes:-

I don’t know if the DCLG [Department for Communities & Local Government] have issued their more detailed stuff yet [for Sefton Borough] but I’d be interested to know how many single households there are for a start and sizes of younger families in greater detail.

For example, the DCLG talk about increased numbers of older people living by themselves. But where these people come from is of interest. And why do they now require housing? If they come from larger houses in Sefton what happens to those houses? Have they been sold or on the market? Does an increase in older people living by themselves mean they need new houses building for them?

There seems to be a lack of precise information coming from our [Sefton’s] planning department and as has been pointed out some of NLP’s [Nathaniel Litchfield & Partners – consultants working for Sefton Council] work appears to ‘fit’ some ‘desired’ outcome.

When FRAGOFF representatives and I sat down with Steve Matthews and Alan Young [Sefton Council Officers] to discuss the Local Plan they agreed that fewer people on the waiting lists for housing were in ‘need’ of housing. But I cant recall seeing this written down!

So as the DCLG have “thrown a spanner in the works”, I think more information should be forthcoming from them. After all, now the Labour controlled [Sefton] Council is saying it’s all the Government’s fault (for the umpteenth time). In his interview with Tom Martin in the Champion Cllr. Maher said the Government’s told Sefton they need to build over 1000 houses per year. I tweeted the Councillor asking which member of the Government told him that. So far, no answer has been forthcoming. I tweeted Tom Martin and asked him had he asked the councillor which member of the Gov had told him that Sefton should up their build rates (no answer from Tom Martin either).

There have been so many twists and turns in the concoction of a Local Plan that I forget where we are at and why we got there and the finger always seems to point back at the DCLG projections, NLP’s interpretation and the Council’s unwillingness to invoke the protection of Green Belt/farmlands offered in the planning regs.

Well Peter’s last paragraph is the killer for me as how on earth can any ordinary member of the public get their heads around Sefton’s Local Plan process? When people like Peter Greener can’t and they have spent many hours, weeks and months trying to do so no wonder the fog is getting thicker and sadly the amount of building on high grade and Green Belt agricultural land in the Borough becomes ever greater!

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