CABINET CALL: By Coun Roger Gambba-Jones
I’m sure many readers are now aware of our successful Pride in South Holland Campaign to clean up eyesore sites.
Unfortunately when it comes to planning, you really can’t please all of the people, for even a short period of time
I won’t re-visit it again now, except to say that we are continuing to tackle areas that blight our district and confront those responsible.
You may also know that the district council is responsible for where and how things get built in South Holland.
We’ve moved on from calling it development control, a term that many saw as meaning prevention and restriction.
We now refer to it as development management, demonstrating that our role is not and never has been to inhibit or restrict development, but rather to ensure that what gets built is of good quality, does no harm, addresses need, such as housing or employment opportunities and where possible improves its surroundings.
No doubt some readers will challenge my claims, suggesting that the council doesn’t care about the impact new developments have on local people.
For what it’s worth, nothing could be further from the truth.
New development is sometimes subject to genuine and well-founded concerns by local people and these are never ignored.
Issues such as increased traffic, noise, a lack of school places, a lack of doctors, poor local drainage, or inadequate sewage systems are often cited as reasons why an application should be refused.
Nationally dictated planning policies mean that some of these issues are relevant and material and can indeed be used to determine the merits, or otherwise of a planning application.
Conversely, other issues such as the availability of school places, or doctors, tend not to be issues that can be considered as material.
Neither can the loss of an individual view, or the impact on property values be taken into account.
Councillors will always do their best to help residents understand how the system works and the challenges involved in trying to balance all the issues when making their decisions.
Unfortunately when it comes to planning, you really can’t please all of the people, for even a short period of time.