From Bridport First…..

You can promise affordable housing but you never have to build it! It’s happening all over the country … here’s how …

The government has introduced a loophole in the law which can allow builders who had promised to include substantial numbers of affordable homes in a housing development to renege on that commitment.

Under a clause in the Growth and Infrastructure Act 2013, developers can appeal to the Planning Inspectorate (PINS) if they believe that the affordable housing requirement made as part of a section 106 agreement renders a scheme unviable.

Don’t be fooled … Bridport needs affordable housing not empty promises …

From Robert Golden; Hallam Land consultation

To; Sarah Bevan Bsc (Hons), Msc, MRTP

Senior Planner

 Savills (on behalf of Hallam Land Group), UK
Dear Ms Bevan

Perhaps your company is well intentioned, but I imagine your main concern is to create profits for your board rather than to create a rich addition to Bridport.
This is only natural in the strange world we share.
There are a number of worrisome matters in your presentation.
The first is the mitigating adverbs used throughout implying you MAY do x, y or z. What is clear is how uncommitted your document is to the things which would help to hide these houses from the rest of us. Is the developer actually going to plant trees, gardens and grasses? Is there going to be a commons and a community centre and if so what will it contain, how big will it be, who will outfit it? Why is there an insistence to move St Mary’s to Vearse Farm? It seems to me, yanking it out of an already impoverished and underserved area and placing it in what looks to be a middle class areas of housing is a travesty of justice. Further, it is clear from research that Bridport needs affordable housing and not more retirement and second homes which your designs seem to hint at. Just how many ‘social houses’ will there be? And will they be of built to the same standards as the rest of the retirement houses? Why does the architecture bare no resemblance to our local vernacular? It reminds me of Mac houses in the States, a customised one format fits all imposition from people who have no sensitivity towards local materials and designs.
Are any of the houses going to have a small ecological footprint? Why are they being built on an area which, two summers ago, was flooded from heavy rainfall?
Are the increase in vital services -roads, school places and teachers, medical facilities- going to be externalised costs borne by local residents or is the developer going to help the town cope with the thousands of new citizens?
I have as yet not spoken to one person who is happy about this uninvited intrusion in our green belt of natural beauty because no one believes your new settlement will help the people of Bridport be housed. The assumption is that our young and poor will struggle even more to find places to live.
Of course, if the developers were to build fine houses for the young and poor, that would be a different matter.
Robert Golden
 

From Tina Ellen Lee; Hallam Land consultation

To; 

Sarah Bevan Bsc (Hons), Msc, MRTP
Senior Planner
Savills (on behalf of Hallam Land Group), UK
Dear Ms Bevan

I have just been sent your report on the Vearse Farm developments.

I don’t mind our town growing by over 3000 people over ten years but what I do mind is the middle class second home nature of this development and the appallingly lazy architecture.

I see no community or cultural centre nor any new facilities in the town to cope with the extra people.  I also see absolutely no social or affordable housing which is what this town needs, not second homes.  

We also don’t need any new supermarkets nor removal of car parks in the town centre.

What we need is real vision for the future of this town and I am not seeing this at Vearse Farm. Just an opportunity for a number of companies to make profit.

I am hoping that the Neighbourhood Plan will give the community of Bridport the chance to alter these plans to 
suit what this town needs rather than what is currently being imposed.

It is very sad that the process so far, which hasn’t been handled well by WDDC, has caused so much distress to the people of the town.  I am glad you sent this document because I was unable to see the exhibition at the Town Hall due to being away for work.  Everyone I know who has been to see the plans have expressed deep unhappiness.
 Finally the plan to remove St. Mary’s Primary School from the Skilling Estate will cause huge problems for the many disadvantaged families who live there and who at the moment can walk their children to school.  Many don’t have cars and there is no public transport system.  With the buses in this area being cut it seems no one has thought through the problems that this will cause.  Meanwhile St Mary’s is now being denied some of the benefits that are being given to the other primary schools because of its uncertain future e.g. the recent solar panel plan for schools.

I think there is some moral responsibility here that no one involved seems to be grasping, but then morality never goes hand in hand with profit. 
Yours

Tina Ellen Lee
 
 

WDDC; Bridport unitary petition signing …..

From John Grantham……

“As ever there is another challenge ahead and this one is for this Saturday  28th Feb, at Bucky Doo Square.

Could anyone reading this link, very kindly think whether they could please help? (It’s quite a wide-ranging list as I don’t know who would be interested in helping so please don’t be surprised at seeing your name on it!) Or could you recommend names of people who are disenchanted with Cabinet Govt to contact that you think might be ‘askable’ by me for this Saturday please? If the Dorchester experience is anything to go by there will be members of the public making special trips in to vote, (one man went back for his wife too, and then said he was thinking of going back again and bringing the budgerigar in to vote too!) so strongly do they feel about what has happened. Let’s be there to take their signatures. The target of 500 – on a less glacial day than we had in Dorchester where we got nearly 400 – with all this press publicity, should be clearly reachable and will stimulate other efforts…. This IS our chance to make a change…and already the opposition to it was shown in WDDC Council yesterday!

 I’ll be stand manager and will get some badges. I’ve booked the site just opposite the Arts Centre entrance – the best one I think. We need people please to help between 10am and 3pm – please phone me on  07990-583167  or email; [email protected] to take a slot. And can you suggest others please?

 Many thanks.

 Cheers,

John” 

Don’t forget….Public First meeting….

 

Public First Meeting, Dorchester, voted to replace W. Dorset Cabinet govt. by Committee system

What will the public now say at the Electric Palace, Bridport?

FRIDAY 20TH FEBRUARY 7PM

Public speaks first & Panel replies…on how West Dorset District Council applies its Cabinet Government; and on whether to investigate Dorset coming under one unitary authority.

Rt Hon. Oliver Letwin, MP, Conservative; Peter Barton,   Green Party; Rachel Rogers, Labour; Ros Kayes, Lib Dems; David Glossop, UKIP; (& WDDC Executive member invited)

Chairman Clive Stafford Smith OBE.

Doors open 6pm.    

Meeting ends 9.30pm www.publicfirstgroup.c.uk

Organised by Public First Group – a non-party-political organisation

Letter to Roger Greene at WDDC. re; the rejected petition

Dear Mr Greene

(Legal Services Manager, Head of Property & Litigation and Monitoring Officer, WDDC)

RE ADVEARSE PETITION

Thank you for your letter of 22 January which gave your response to the decision of the Chief Executive to refuse to accept our petition. ADVEARSE has considered its response and I am replying on behalf of the group.

We are disappointed that you have failed to give any detailed consideration to the protocol concerning petitions to the Full Council. Most of the letter consists of the list of consultation activities which must have taken at least 2 minutes to copy and paste. We have already received this information on several occasions. We have explained that whilst it might persuade you and colleagues that consultation has been carried out that Bridport Councillors and residents feel that there were failures in the information and consultations process.

We would accept that the Councillors were unlikely to have accepted the demand of the petition and withdrawn Vearse Farm from the Local Plan. This would be especially true granted the particular stage we are at in terms of the Inspection process. We did however wish to achieve two objectives

  • Ensuring that Councillors as a whole appreciated the strength of opposition to the proposal
  • Ensuring that the public could actually hear an open debate on the issue.

The latter point is paramount. The local press is giving unprecedented coverage to concerns in the community as a whole about West Dorset District as a Council. In particular it is about the sense that ‘cabinet ‘government is not serving local democracy well.

We have collected names and asked for the debate in accordance with the protocol. What would actually have been wrong in actually having the debate and giving the reason for rejecting its request the points which Matt Prosser and you have given? You have given reasons why the Councillors would reject the request but not why the petition should not have been heard. In my initial response to Matt Prosser I suggested that it was bad politics to reject the petition. Weeks on with yet more negative publicity about a high handed council that remains my view. We will certainly be issuing a press release about the matter.

‘Chief Executives decision’- (page one). We note that no councillors were asked for their opinion. Might it have been useful to get their perspective ? Or outside the cabinet members are Councillors to be treated as stooges?

Conclusion of stage III – Thank you for clarifying that we are at the conclusion and pointing us in the direction of the ombudsman. For the record can we note that despite offers on our behalf for other avenues the Council has chosen to deal with us exclusively by e-mail/letter?

To confirm our next actions

  • We will be issuing a press release about the rejection
  • We will be contacting the Ombudsman
  • We will be asking our local councillors for support and guidance
  • We will consider how best to network with others who feel disenfranchised by the undemocratic processes of WDDC

Yours faithfully

ADVEARSE

Campaign Site