If it fails, hang your head in shame

In his letter last week Cllr Weber forgets to mention that, although he agrees the infrastructure “as it stands is unsafe” and that “there was fairly consistent concern on the evolving infrastructure planning”, he and the rest of his party still voted for the Local Plan to go to the inspector in its present form.

I would relish the opportunity to oversee a sustainable transport strategy, school and health provision but the reality is that it is not in our power as district councillors to have any input into these matters as they are solely the remit of the county council. In fact the Warwick county councillors are united in their protestations that the proposals are uncosted, untested, notional and aspirational and have certainly been through no county committee process. The ‘Transport Strategy’ consists simply of examples of vague, unworkable suggestions for possible mitigation measures to accommodate the proposed huge housing development in Warwick and has not been adopted by county highways.

All we can do as district councillors is to refuse inappropriate planning applications when infrastructure provision is not clearly evidenced. However, we are told that weight is given to the emerging Local Plan in planning matters and so it comes back to bite us. Members of the planning committee, including Cllr Weber, have already approved massive housing development in the south of Warwick. Only I and another independent voted against, remaining convinced that the transport strategy is non-existent, infrastructure is lacking and the harm to the area would be too great.

I have asked at each debate on the Local Plan that we take time to review the proposals and make changes to ensure that it is sound before it is submitted but my pleas went unheeded. Any councillor who voted to approve this Local Plan should hang his/her head in shame if it fails at the Inspection stage because we could have taken time to ensure it is fit for purpose and the right one for the future of our district.

Cllr Linda Bromley (Ind), Warwick South