Losing Democratic Rights: Wake up Purbeck residents!
The Local Plan for Purbeck is for many residents one of the most important matters that they will face in their lives.
More market houses, greater pressure on roads, more pollution and the urbanisation of Purbeck are not what most residents want? The outcome of the summer 2016 consultation showed that 98% of respondents rejected the excessive housing numbers for Purbeck.
Purbeck District Council plan to use Local Forums in place of public consultation on the options for housing numbers and locations in their draft Local Plan.
Between June and late September the council plan to hold three forum meetings in five areas plus three meetings of an infrastructure forum. These Local Forums are for residents and interest groups including landowners to discuss matters relating the Local Plan. The Local Forums are for all residents. District Councillors or facilitators will chair the meetings. The Local Forum meetings will be in the evening and will last for about two hours. Residents are free to ask questions and raise any matters in the Local Forum meetings.
The idea of Local Forums has come from Bath and North East Somerset.
Whilst sounding a good idea, these Local Forums have not been used for planning matters. They have no strategic overview and they do not consider the area beyond Purbeck. It is not clear what status is attached to the outcomes and recommendations of the Local Forums. As such the Local Forums are untested. They are incomplete vehicles for public participation and inadequate means of public consultation.
Residents should have the right to air their views and comments by means of a public consultation after the Local Forums have finished their work. This is the established and proven means of operating the development of Local Plans.
Why is Purbeck District Council and its elected members restricting democratic processes?
It is not too much to ask Purbeck District Council to include a public consultation on the options for the draft Local Plan. Residents deserve more consultation than Local Forums.
If you care about the Purbeck area, contact your district councillor and ask for a public consultation on the housing numbers and their locations. Please do this now as Purbeck is threatened by those who will trash the area for ever.
Chairman Pan Purbeck Action Campaign.