Is anybody listening to us?

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Regarding the recent column by Kate Cutts, it isn’t unusual to blame one’s predecessors in Government or the local authority for apparent careless regard with finances and planning decisions.

No one is going to say ‘sorry’ for the selling off council houses or the relaxing of restrictions on our greenfields sites or even the ‘open door policy’, so we have to make the best of what we inherit.

In planning matters there have been some changes that local people who know their locality well can make use of. They can use the Sustainable Communities Act 2010 to ask for reviews and time and access to all the necessary and possibly overlooked information.

Protection for our greenfield sites, forests and arable land farm land is important. No pleas of ‘it’s in the national interest’ should be entertained with the plethora of brownfield sites being ignored by developers.

‘Unintentional consequences’ re. loss of natural drainage of excess rainfall and building on recognised flood plains are occurring too often to be dismissed as a 50 year cycle not worth the cost of effective flood prevention. An all party retraction of the HS2 which will destroy so much to provide an unnecessary and unaffordable service for elitist commuters many of whom are anxious to buy homes away from London that locals cannot afford to even rent, would be sensible and welcomed by most.

The improvement of our present rail system and control of the price of tickets should not be beyond our expectations or our rights as taxpayers.

Selling off our railways just another ‘unintentional consequence’? Then we must change the style and sizes of houses the developers build to make the most profit for them. We do have the expertise to build more cheaply and quickly the ‘flat pack’ house as demonstrated on TV. A huge idea that was reminiscent of the very successful and long-lived ‘temporary’ pre-fabs that were treasured by those in need, as they could afford to rent. Consultation, concessions and consensus would be a start for 2014.

Is anybody listening?

J. Cocking

Edwinstowe s