Let field’s future go to a referendum

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THE Lincolnshire Free Press of January 24 confirmed that there are firm development proposals being put forward to redevelop the Sir Halley Stewart Playing Field, which was bequeathed to the people of Spalding by Sir Halley Stewart.

Currently the costs of maintaining the playing field fall on the council tax payers of Spalding under the Spalding special expenses account.

Surely the beneficiaries of this bequest should have some say on what is to happen to the Halley Stewart field.

Under the new planning policy guidance, and in the enacted localism bill, this coalition government is committed to giving local residents particularly affected by development proposals more influence and control over what development takes place in their community.

The planning guidance and the localism bill stress that the consent of local residents gives democratic credibility to decisions affecting local communities if necessary by directly seeking that consent through local referenda.

It is also proposed that any development gain arising out of any successful planning application should be shared between the wider local community and those residents most effected.

This development proposal provides a golden opportunity to let the residents of Spalding determine the future use of the Halley Stewart Field through a local referendum.

South Holland is a Conservative-led council and the Conservative-led national coalition government is positively encouraging local referenda on major local issues which do not have national significance.

In this case why not trust the people?

PAUL WALLS

Claudette Avenue

Spalding