Formby/Little Altcar – Their Neighbourhood Plan Proposals

A Red Squirrel - What could be more symbolic of Formby and Little Altcar

A Red Squirrel – What could be more symbolic of Formby and Little Altcar

Being involved with the Lydiate Neighbourhood Plan, although still reasonably sceptical of the limited scope of Neighbourhood Planning generally, I thought looking at a plan that was at a pretty advanced stage from a local perspective would be useful. Here’s a link to the joint Neighbourhood Plan of Formby and Little Altcar Parish Councils:-

www.formbyparishcouncil.org.uk/images/Development_Plan_-website.pdf

I have always looked upon the Neighborhood Planning process in a similar way to how I look at the Merseyside Devolution Deal – They are both too subservient to powers and plans above them in the democratic hierarchy. In other words they are hand me downs giving the feeling of more local control when in fact the additional local control is actually quite negligible.

A protest placard demanding that Sefton Council takes notice of Formby views.

A protest placard demanding that Sefton Council takes notice of Formby views.

In Sefton I have often said that the Labour-run Borough Council has promoted them more as an apology for it allocating acre upon acre of high grade agricultural land and Green Belt for building development. You may also recall that at one point Labour sources locally seemed to be trying to put out the message that a Neighbourhood Plan could restrict the development on Green Belt! I right old made up story if I ever heard one.

Anyway that’s off my chest again so back to the Neighbourhood Plans that are being put together locally. Formby and Little Altcar seem to have tried very hard to make a successful and influential Plan but it still has to go via a Planning Inspector and a referendum of electors in those two Civil Parishes.

The section of the Formby Plan copied below struck me as I know only too well how flooding concerns in that community are significant and how there is a great concern that proposed developments may well inadequately tackle what is in reality a Countrywide concern:-

Producing this Plan has been extremely difficult taking into account the various constraints on the land and concerns of local people.
Unfortunately, the planning system, in its current form, is unable to take an holistic approach when addressing flooding and flood risk to the
community. As this plan has not allocated any land but works with land already allocated via the emerging Sefton Local Plan, we reserve our
right to object to any application that does not demonstrate that it has fully addressed the flooding issues. The evidence base and flood
management section of this Plan demonstrates beyond any doubt that the community is determined to do something meaningful with
regards to addressing the very real ongoing risk of flooding in Formby.

I will post about Lydiate’s progress along the Neighbourhood Plan route in the not too distant future.

Flooding – We knew it was bad but………………..

UK reaches global top ten for flood risk

The UK is among the top 10 countries in the world at greatest economic risk from flooding. It is ranked seventh highest globally for its economic exposure to flooding – behind the US, China, India, Bangladesh, Germany and Japan, according to risk analysis company Maplecroft. The latest index put the UK 42nd most at risk for physical exposure to flooding. But its high population density and the proximity of property and infrastructure to flood zones means its non-agricultural economic exposure is the seventh highest. However, despite the high risk, the UK was also one of the best placed countries to weather any problems because of its spending power and robust infrastructure.

Financial Times, Page: 3 The Daily Telegraph, Page: 4 Daily Express, Page: 6 (all today)

With thanks to the LGiU for this information.

Developments being built on flood plains – Formby comes to mind!

As Britain endures another weekend of torrential rain and further flooding, figures obtained by The Independent on Sunday reveal that last year local councils allowed at least 87 planning developments involving 560 homes to proceed in England and Wales in areas at such high risk of flooding that the EA formally opposed them. “This is exactly the kind of decision making that has made flooding more of a problem than it should be and that threatens the lives and livelihoods of many people,” the London School of Economics’ Bob Ward comments. Meanwhile, Owen Paterson, the Environment Secretary, has promised that “everything possible” was being done to help potential flood victims and prepare for the further storms forecast to hit the UK. He also added that the Government was “offering full assistance” to emergency services and local councils – The Independent on Sunday 2nd February, Page; 9

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The photo above shows protestors placards on the hugely controversial Liverpool Road site in Formby where concerns about flooding (as well as loss of Green Belt & high grade agricultural land) have been a big factor in opposition to a proposed new housing development.

With thanks to the LGiU