Sefton Council’s opposition Lib Dem Group, who have campaigned against the Labour-run Council’s plans to build on areas of Green Belt and high grade agricultural land across the Borough, have welcomed a recent intervention from Coalition Planning Minister Nick Bowles.
Labour have told us that they have no choice but to build on Green Belt and high grade agricultural land, some of which is prone to flooding, but we have said they do have a choice. Now the Minister with Planning responsibilities has effectively backed our stance.
In a letter to the Planning Inspectorate, the body that deals with appeals against planning applications that are turned down by a local authority, dated 3rd March the Minister says ‘local authorities and the communities who elect them, are in charge of planning for their own areas.’ He goes on to say ‘a local authority could adjust a Green Belt boundary through a review of the Local Plan. It must however always be transparently clear that it is the local authority itself which has chosen that path’.
So its clear, Labour do have a choice and they made it to build on Green Belt which also happens to be high grade agricultural land in most cases across Sefton. Labour have been far from straight with Sefton residents. They have even put up posters saying ‘Save our Green Belt’ whilst in the Council chamber they have been voting to build on it! No wonder environmental campaign groups like Fragoff have taken the Council on.
We Lib Dems want to save the land, which Labour is going to allow to be built on, to grow food for future generations. Labour wants to plant houses on land that will never be able to support food growing again.