Lib Dem run Lydiate Parish Council is impressed by the campaigning of Fragoff and H-ALT, both of whom have organised community meetings in Lydiate.
Fragoff was born in Formby to tackle the scourge of potential building on Green Belt land but they have widened their geographic area to help and work with environmental campaigners across the Borough who are fighting to preserve Green Belt and high grade agricultural land from development.
H-ALT are another environmental campaign group formed to fight the massive wind farm turbines proposed to be built on land between Lydiate and Ince Blundell and, like Fragoff, they have organised a recent well attended community meeting in the Parish of Lydiate.
To assist both voluntary groups in their further campaigning Lydiate Parish Council is donating £50 to each organisation.
A motion seeking to persuade the government to reduce the presumption in favour of development and increase protection of residential amenity was voted down by Labour Councillors from Formby, Maghull, Crosby and Bootle, who control Sefton Council, last week.
During the debate I spoke in favour of giving local planning committees more control over what is allowed to be built. In my view Councillors should have a greater degree of freedom to refuse those developments which have a detrimental effect on residential amenity and the environment.
Labour’s decision to vote against these proposed changes was moved by their leader, councillor Peter Dowd who is also a Maghull Town Councillor. Councillor Dowd has recently spoken out in favour of Ed Miliband’s huge house building programme.
Labour’s voting sadly confirmed what I call their ‘build anywhere at any cost’ position which is reflected in Sefton’s Local Plan proposals that will mean high grade agricultural land and Green Belt will be concreted over. As an environmental campaigner I know that land needs to be there for future generations to grow food on but it will not be if Labour sanctions it for house building.
A couple of days ago I highlighted the unfortunate consequences upon Southport of the West Lancashire Local Plan being approved by a Planning Inspector. The matter has now been taken up by the MP for Southport Dr John Pugh.
Dr. John Pugh Lib Dem MP for Southport
Sir Michael Pitt,
The Planning Inspectorate
Temple Quay House
2 The Square
BRISTOL BS1 6PN
Date: 16 November 2013
Dear Sir Michael,
It has been reported to me that a Planning Inspector recently gave the ‘all clear’ to West Lancashire District Council’s Draft Local Plan in particular as it related to plans to build new houses on the local Green Belt around New Cut Lane, Halsall, an area which is regarded by most of its residents as being part of Birkdale which it abuts.
While the Inspector has, quite correctly, recognised that there is travel to work and shop between Southport (Seton MBC) and West Lancashire, in determining that this new housing can be treated as meeting West Lancashire’s Housing need, rather than Sefton’s I find this argument to have significant and worrying weaknesses. Draft Local Plans need to look not just simplistically at Housing need but also at the infrastructure which is necessary to accompany and support any new housing and indeed the present housing, industry etc. There is no evidence that I have yet seen to show that West Lancashire District Council has in any way considered the extra stress on an already-overburdened and tightly-enveloped Southport which will be associated with the building of and occupation of these substantial number of new houses. Nor is there any obvious evidence of West Lancashire District Council having co-operated with Sefton MBC in terms of assessing the possibility of development in boundary areas between the two authorities in general and the New Cut Lane area in particular. There may have been some information, which might be stretched to ‘consultation’ but these processes do not amount to ‘co-operation’ which involves working together. The decision to choose this particular area to expand into would seem to be a rather cynical determination that there will be no substantial group of residents/electors who will be particularly objecting to this proposal compared to any proposal closer to one of the West Lancashire current population centres.
I should be interested to receive your response to the above points.
Dr John Pugh MP
Below is what Fragoff think. It has not been changed or added to by me.
THE FACTS ABOUT THE LOCAL PLAN
We all know that LABOUR voted through Option 2 of the plan for 510 houses per year –YES
WRONG, what they have failed to tell you is that when the plan is adopted in 2015 they will be building 723 per year – FACT
But don’t worry, all the greenbelt and farm land that has been identified will allow this to happen
IS THIS NOT OPTION 3? THROUGH THE BACK DOOR
If the true figure is 510 then there is more greenbelt/farm land identified than is needed. If what we know to be the facts, then there is enough land identified for 723 houses per year, OPTION 3.
THIS IS NOT WHAT WE HAVE BEEN TOLD OR BEEN CONSULTED ON!
We need to stick together as a community and not be
tricked into being divided which is what they want.
DIVIDED THEY CONQUER – UNITED THEY FALL
I accidentally landed on this issue via the Local Government Information Unit site but it made me think about the potential for such a problem building up in Sefton, with building being the big word here!
Leeds North West MP Greg Mulholland has called Leeds City Council’s planning “appalling” claiming it has left the city facing a primary school places crisis. The accusations centre on a potential shortfall of about 4,000 places in primary schools.
Whilst Sefton is not yet is such a crisis there is sadly a real chance that it will encounter similar problems because of the Labour-run Council’s rush to build house in the Borough.
We all realise that Labour will most likely now authorise building on Green Belt and high grade agricultural land, having just completed a public consultation exercise which was very much based on such a scenario. Along with Labour taking all kinds of flak for proposing this they have also been criticised for the lack of any infrastructure planning to sit alongside the houses they are planning to build.
One of the significant infrastructure issues will be schools and school places but apart from vague promises along the lines of of ‘this will be sorted out as the planning applications are progressed’ it is not at all clear that anyone in the Council has really thought through the implications of a house building programme in terms of schools, GP’s, dentists etc. etc.
It’s bad enough to tell us that Sefton is determined to build on Green Belt and high grade agricultural land but then not to have any clear answers about the consequences of such a policy is making some folks wonder what on earth is going on. It seems Leeds is further down this most worrying track.
Sefton Council Corporate Communications 1st Floor, Bootle Town Hall Bootle, L20 7AE
Date: 23 October 2013
Formby Planning Application Is Withdrawn
A planning application for housing on the edge of Formby has been withdrawn by the applicants prompting the cancellation of an additional planning meeting. Barrett Homes and David Wilson Homes have written to Sefton Council to withdraw the application for 274 dwellings on the site bounded by Liverpool Road, Monks Drive, Savon Hook and River Close. The applicant’s decision means that an additional meeting of Sefton’s planning committee on Monday, October 28, at the Atkinson, Southport, has now been cancelled.
Notes for editors A report to Sefton’s Planning Committee published on Friday, October 18, recommended to the committee that the application (Ref S/2013/0905) be refused.
Issued by: Chris Hannaway Principal Communications Officer
Check out the Fragoff website for more news on this surprising development at:-