BUTTERFLY PARK: Response to Long Sutton Parish Council

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I can only assume that the Long Sutton Parish Council members had been at the communion wine when they put together their recent letter “Enough is Enough”.

In their letter the parish council stated that they “should not be disregarded by the district and county councils or the local ward members” and that they “take seriously their role as statutory consultees and consider all plans and views of the local people in detail and on merit”.

In respect of the proposed development of the former Butterfly and Wildlife Park nothing could be further from the truth.

Over the past 17 months Long Sutton Parish Council has declined over ten invitations to discuss the application with the developer, or to engage with any ward member that has not shown allegiance to their entrenched position. We have written, phoned and emailed the council in an attempt to discuss the plans and their concerns relating to the application.

Given their apparent strong feelings, their letter dated November 1, 2012 might seem surprising to the residents of Long Sutton.

“The Council resolved that it was not necessary to meet further with you or representatives for you.”

Apart from the fact that they have never met with us it’s hardly the response one might expect from a group that wishes to be taken seriously.

Furthermore the parish council has never responded to a detailed reply that we provided in respect of their issues raised.

Our reply can be found on the SHDC Planning portal under Planning Reference H11-0398-12.

As a former local resident I am only too aware of some of the issues raised by the parish council but their behaviour does nothing for their credibility and certainly goes no way towards solving local problems highlighted.

For example if there is a long waiting list for appointments at the Long Sutton Medical Practice go meet with the practice manager and discuss your concerns directly.

If you feel school capacity is reaching breaking point talk to Lincs County Education officers to get an informed and realistic view of the issues. Find out how they are managing at a time when budgets are stretched and funding a scarce commodity.

For the record, if our application is approved the £238,000 contribution being provided to the County will go directly towards providing additional capacity within Long Sutton.

It seems to me that “Enough is Enough” and that residents of Long Sutton deserve better.

If the parish council want to be taken seriously then put your house in order, get yourselves better informed, stop criticising elected members and officers and engage in sensible dialogue.

Peter Smeaton

Former Butterfly Park director