It is no small wonder that all politicians, both in Westminster and local councils, are held in such low esteem.
I am, of course, referring to the report on Adur Council’s recent debate in relation to its Local Plan, from which it became clear that the decisions were reached, based on Adur DC’s desire to obey their Westminster superiors by authorising development in areas which are well known to have serious flood risks, simply to achieve the government’s targets and obtain more brownie points from their political masters.
On the one hand, we have two Adur councillors who for many years represented the then well-known Liberal party and who regularly supported the need to protect the Monks Farm area in Lancing from flooding.
The moment that party’s political influence began to decline and the local Tories came into the ascendance, they underwent a sudden conversion to Tory thinking and crossed the floor (without seeking the consent of their constituents), only now to quote the Conservative mantra at every opportunity, which is a complete contradiction to their previous stance.
It is ironic that Paul Graysmark’s attempt to rule out building on greenfield sites until all brownfield areas had been exhausted was derided by the current planning chairman, Brian Boggis, who, it is claimed, said the amendment was no sense whatsoever. Does not Mr Boggis realise that this tenet is one often quoted by the Prime Minister himself? No brownie points to be gained here.
As for Neil Parkin claiming that there was a serious risk of developers pouncing, should the various amendments reported be adopted, it is a bit late in the day for such a statement, they are already at it.
I would quote the instance of a developer applying for consent to convert a small end-of-terrace house into three flats, such consent being refused and supported by the Government inspector, only for the developer to go ahead and build his three flats. When reported to Adur DC, the planners simply shrugged their shoulders and gave retrospective permission, despite local opposition and the two previous refusals.
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