We can all agree with our MP, John Hayes, (‘Protecting our Fen towns and villages’, Free Press, August 25) that preserving our countryside from insensitive development is vital.
But this is not necessarily the same as agreeing with Prince Charles; whatever the words ‘inspired by tradition and the laws of nature’ actually mean in terms of the built environment, housebuilders, in particular, have been guilty of using such arguments to justify poorly-designed developments in our area.
And let’s not forget that St Paul’s Cathedral would be an even more stunning building today if Wren’s original design had not been rejected as too radical for public taste.
But what Mr Hayes fails to mention in his article is that the biggest threat to our Lincolnshire countryside comes from his own government’s obsession with imposing fracking on rural communities, whether they like it or not.
Licences have already been granted covering large areas in and around the county, and many more are in the pipeline.
Yet Mr Hayes recently voted in favour of a government bill (Infrastructure Bill, February 11, 2015) to severely restrict the length of time local authorities will have to determine planning applications for fracking sites, even though the issues they will have to consider include the danger of dirt, pollution, traffic disruption, earth tremors and groundwater contamination.
What a contrast with the Government’s approach to the generation of renewable wind power; in June, it changed planning rules to make it easier for local communities to block wind turbines, which now must be ‘clearly backed’ by local people in a local or neighbourhood plan.
No wonder there has been a deafening silence from our local Tory councillors on this shameless threat to their democratic right to defend their communities.
I’m afraid our MP can’t have it both ways. I challenge John Hayes to make it clear in the pages of your newspaper that, in line with the principles he set out in his article, he will personally oppose any fracking application that affects a community or communities within his constituency and which does not have majority local support.