Ignorant, Naïve or just Plain Wilful

coronado-dr-5211-20170212-bMy neighbour Tom Parker is tackling the City Board of Adjustment tomorrow (Monday) at 1 p.m. regarding the  construction of two houses on what was 5211 Coronado Drive.
The sub division ordnance has not been followed and the purpose of the meeting is to protest and deny the City of Raleigh the opportunity to legitimise their actions in permitting this development.
This is not just a Coronado Drive matter.
It affects us all in North Hills as developers destroy our environment in the pursuit of unwarranted profits.
The hearing takes place at 1 p.m. at 222 West Hargett Street, Raleigh in Room 201.
The Raleigh Board of Adjustment is a quasi-judicial body which acts on appeals for variances, special exceptions and interpretations in the zoning regulations. The meeting with the Board is important because City Planners are paid by us (tax payers), are governed by our elected officials and they are meant to serve us.
The designation of Raleigh being the seventh most attractive city to live in the U.S. will not be sustainable if we become a developer’s paradise where rules are flouted and not enforced.
Our City Representative (who does not sit on the Board of Adjustment) is Dickie Thompson. His email is: dickie.thompson@raleighnc.gov
See you there tomorrow.

Rogers Farm, Newton


Next Wednesday I am a substitute on Babergh’s Planning Committee to consider an application for a change of use from agricultural land to a twenty six hectare solar farm. From the farmer’s point of view it must make sense to convert a quality field (winter wheat) into a solar farm. The field slopes away from the farm house and the visual intrusion is quite reasonable – especially when you consider the income from a field which is forecast to provide approximately 15 Megawatts peak (MWp) of electricity, sufficient to provide the power needs of 3,390 average U.K. households, which is equal to 8% of all households within Babergh. The local population are not happy. The installation will be seen from quite a wide area (as indicated from the photograph from Edwardstone Village Hall). The Box River Valley is a significant tourist area. The nearest piece of the Edwardstone Woods Site of Special Scientific Interest is only 150 metres away and a small part of the site is within the Box River Valley Special Landscape Area. North Norfolk District Council recently rejected a similar application for a wind turbine. The application went to appeal. The Planning Inspector  overturned the decision and North Norfolk referred to the matter to the High Court arguing that the decision flew in the face of the will of the local community. Now a High Court Judge has ruled against the Inspector on the grounds that he did not have sufficient special regard to the desirability of preserving the setting of the listed buildings. The life of the solar farm is expected to be about twenty five years. Experts believe that they will be obsolete long before then and in the meantime it will take ten years for the new screening trees to become effective. Overall I think that this will be an interesting debate and as always my mind is open to the arguments of the developers and the residents. What was I doing on Wednesday? I was viewing the site from various angles – a character building two hours of walking about in the cold and the wellingtons.

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.