Letter to WHTimes about Grant Shapps favouring local

November 30, 2014 12:00 AM
I well remember when this government proposed a couple of years ago that offices could be converted into homes without any need for planning permission, all 3 parties on the local council supported the objections made by the council's planning staff. We wrote to Grant, but he backed the government.
What has happened since? Well, hundreds of homes have been created (hurrah) but office space has been lost, most of the new homes lack the parking they need, no provision has been made for the additional school places needed, no social housing has been created, no contributions to infrastructure have been made and most of the homes are in unsuitable locations, such as on the Mundells one-way system in the middle of an industrial area, with no play space for the children. I know of no-one of any political persuasion who thinks this has been sensible.
Garden Cities and New Towns were built on the premise that good planning could make lives better by putting each type of activity in as logical location as possible Grant has backed turning this on its head.
Maybe he would now consider backing the call for a new settlement to take much of the 12,500 homes the council now claims are needed, instead of adding to the sprawl around the existing towns and villages.
Yours sincerely, Malcolm Cowan.
LibDem councillor, Welwyn Hatfield council