• Email to Hugo Swire over meeting with Nick Boles

    16th May 2013 | News | Claire
  • Dear Hugo

    Myself and Roger Giles met you on 4 February to express our concern about the looming environmental destruction caused by the NPPF and its pro-growth policies.

    As you are aware, a significant issue for EDDC is a lack of ability to demonstrate a five year land supply for housing, which has made it very vulnerable to speculative applications for housing.

    Prior to the NPPF the five year supply was an important consideration. Now this issue is the overriding consideration that takes precedence over every other material consideration, based on the rules in the National Planning Policy Framework.

    You will also be aware of the tiny number of councils that have their new Local Plans actually adopted.  A plan that is anything other than formally adopted still leaves authorities at risk from inappropriate development, so Mr Pickles attempt at reassurance over published plans is not at all reassuring, because EDDC has a published DRAFT plan and is as at risk as ever, as you know.

    I was prompted to write to you following sight of this article today (link below) in Planning Resource, which demonstrates the serious problems that are now facing councils up and down the country.  As you know, East Devon has two thirds of its countryside designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, which is supposedly still protected under the NPPF. 

    If “significant harm” can be rubber-stamped for AONB in the Cotswolds then what hope is there for AONB here?  And non-AONB countryside, such as around Ottery St Mary, Tipton St John, West Hill and Feniton (I appreciate Feniton is in Neil Parish’s constituency) is very vulnerable indeed.

    On 4 February you pledged to meet with planning minister, Nick Boles but I understand that there may have been some difficulty in arranging a mutually convenient time.

    I hope that this meeting can take place as a matter of urgency and I very much hope that Mr Boles will make the necessary time available in his diary to see you.

    I look forward to hearing from you.

    With my best wishes

    Claire Wright


    The account of mine and Roger’s meeting with Mr Swire is here – http://www.claire-wright.org/index.php/post/hugo_swire_to_try_to_tackle_east_devons_planning_problems/

    Photograph:  Myself and Roger on 4 February, talking to Hugo Swire.