Until it suits us?
Open Letter To Residents Of West Lancashire From Council Leader, Cllr Ian Moran March 12 2019 “At a meeting of the West Lancashire Borough Council Cabinet this evening, the Labour administration requested that the timescale for developing a new Local Plan be changed, in order to take into account the concerns raised by residents during the recent public consultation.
“We have said from the outset of this Local Plan process that we wanted this to be a meaningful consultation, in which the public could see that their concerns were being listened to.
“When the last Local Plan review took place, the Conservative administration, which included OWL Cllr Adrian Owens, completely ignored the concerns of residents across the borough over plans to build significant numbers of housing in the area, not least Burscough residents’ overwhelming referendum result. We refuse to treat residents with such contempt.
[The referendum Question was “Do you want the West Lancashire Borough Council to release green belt land at Yew Tree Farm and Red Cat Lane for developments disproportionate to the size of Burscough, without thoroughly investigating and exhausting all suitable alternatives and prioritizing non-green belt land first We refuse to treat residents with such contempt. Yes 55, no 1,438].
“The proposals put forward for a new Local Plan were intended to try and stop the problem of housing developments being built without any guarantee of infrastructure improvements, to roads, schools and GP surgeries.
“However, we refuse to drive this through against residents’ wishes, and so we will review the responses and update the evidence used in formulating the plan, to ensure that a more effective set of proposals can be brought forward in future.
“This Conservative government has placed local authorities under huge pressure to deliver new housing, without giving them sufficient powers to tackle the problems of developers sitting on development land and trying to cherry pick the best sites, as happened last year with our successful defence of Parrs Lane in Aughton. If we don’t review our Local Plan regularly, the government will impose the housing on us without any regard for local infrastructure, so we need to make sure we are doing everything we can to keep control”.
Returning to the statement “We refuse to treat residents with such contempt”, how else can current contemptuous treatment of the Burscough Flooding Group be described? How can an elected body blandly ignore the democratic right to be heard because paid officers advise otherwise? WLBC Labour 2020 isn’t fixing the Tory mess, it’s just adding to it?