Hands off Hadleigh

Hands off HadleighToday Tesco’s application to develop the Brett Works site in Hadleigh was defeated by seven votes to six. Bearing in mind that four votes were predictable the result was absolutely first class focusing on the economic impact of our town.
My address to the committee received a heart-warming round of applause from the Hadleigh supporters –  and is enclosed).
Floreat Hadleigh

Address to the Planning Committee 130918

Being Mugged By Local Government

Hadleigh High SchoolIn early November I blogged on the relationship of Hadleigh High School with its neighbours. (See:  Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?). Today the neighbouring residents got their day in front of Babergh’s Development Committee to challenge the erection of an amenity light. The specific  proposal was to  retain  one  amenity light  which was located on one of the columns which also carried one of the permitted floodlights. The amenity light to be retained overlooked the path from the school and car parking areas rather than the MUGA itself (Multi Use Games Area). Well, it was an interesting experience. First the Council’s own documentation contained errors – so much so that they recognised that there may have been invalidities. Additionally, the recommendation to the Committee referred to Lister Road as Lister Lane (according to Google to be found in Halifax and Bradford). The nearest property in Station Road is 50 metres from the light not 85.
The applicant had stated that the light was required to access the MUGA in a safe manner. However you do not need a 12 m high light for safety purposes unless you are running a lorry car park or similar. The Council officials pronounced MUGA as MUGGA. Which is just how the residents felt – mugged. The object in challenging the application was so that some of the previous decisions could be amended to correct past mistakes and unintended consequences. The Committee approved the application without giving the residents what they needed and ignored their entitlement to the peaceful enjoyment of their possessions.
From my point of view – it was a sad day for justifying the democratic process. And a sad day for the residents.

Babergh Core Strategy

This week saw Babergh District Council consider  its Core Strategy. In many ways it is an admirable document setting out how the District might develop over the next twenty years. However, deep within its detail are what could be considered serious threats to the Hadleigh’s well being. Kathryn Grandon moved an amendment to the approving resolution pointing out that the commercial area allocated on the map is in the wrong place. The commercial area should not have to share street space with residential areas. Residential streets should not be sharing space with diesel lorries accessing their places of business twenty four hours a day. An illustrative map indicated the possibility of an industrial corridor to the east of Hadleigh. This will become an eastern barrier to further development since no one will want to be separated from the town by a commercial area. The commercial area should not be alongside the residential area. Instead it should be on a site having easy access onto the A1071 (the town by-pass) Once again we have a community being led by the Council but not  in a way which will enhance its future prospects. The amendment went down by more than thirty votes to six. One of the Liberal Councillors for Hadleigh voted against the amendment citing the need for a decision to be made. The Core Strategy has now been approved and has been published to the Towns and Parishes for further consultation. Then it goes to the Planning Inspectorate for comments and approval. Meanwhile people similarly minded to Kathryn and myself are looking at how one influences the Planning Inspectorate – as Babergh does not appear to be listening.