Sunday, 4 October 2009

SOUL in St Austell

Once again, it has been a few days since my last post.

On Thursday (24th September), I was invited to speak at a public meeting organised by SOUL (Save Our Unspoilt Land) in St Austell. This group has been set-up following the news that Wainhomes plan to put in a planning application for 1,500 new properties adjacent to the town.

I focussed on problems with the planning system. In particular, the ridiculous housing numbers proposed for the old Restormel area (contained within the Regional Spatial Strategy) and how the recent delays in producing local planning policies (compounded by the setting up of the unitary authority) meant developers were testing the limits of what would normally be allowed.

I also appealed to the meeting to see the big picture and to also focus demands on a proper housing strategy for the St Austell area.

Since the meeting it has become clear that the Regional Spatial Strategy for the South West is in difficulties. Following legal challenges on similar documents in the East of England, the government has instructed that further work will need to be carried out on all Regional Spatial Strategies.

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