Letter: Councils should stand firm

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I note from your article on page 33 of last week’s Mercury that Larkfleet Homes is trying to use the courts to subvert the democratic process by mounting a challenge to a widely approved Neighbourhood Plan.

These plans are only brought to adoption after a long drawn out and vigorous process of consultation and have to be approved by the community in a referendum and signed off by a Government inspector.

In the village in which I reside, Colsterworth, Larkfleet recently submitted an application for 50 ‘boxes’ on a site allocated for 40 dwellings post 2016. This application was accompanied with, what can be only read as a threatening letter, stating that the SKDC Core Strategy was flawed and that any rejection would be challenged in the courts.

Do we see a pattern here? Fortunately SKDC planners held their nerve and the application has, for the time being, been withdrawn.
Perhaps the community of Uppingham, Rutland CC and Larkfleet should be made aware of a recent Judgement in the High Court.

Barratt Homes and Wainhomes Developments sought to challenge, via a judicial review, the adoption of Tattenhall and District Parish Council’s Neighbourhood Plan by Cheshire West and Chester Borough Council. On May 9 2014 this challenge was dismissed by The Honourable Mr Justice Supperstone.

I well understand the motivation of developers seeking to stop local communities from using the Localism Act 2011 to guide developments within their areas.

Up to now inappropriate developments of uniform boxes crammed onto too small plots, seeking to maximise developer’s profits at the expense of the local community, have been the recent norm. The advent of Neighbourhood plans threatens this.

Keep your nerve Uppingham Town Council and Rutland CC.

Neil Bennet,

Woolsthorpe by Colsterworth