Councillor Ray Buttery: Fields destroyed for profit

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The government does not seem to understand that the countryside is a valuable national asset, and should not be used to build as many houses as possible for profit.

Many councils who turn down applications on green belt land are taken to the Government Planning Inspectorate by the developers, usually because the council does not have a five year land supply.

No thought is put into the infrastructure, which includes school places, flooding, sewage, biodiversity, road traffic problems and the decimation of the character of the area.

We already have 400,000 unused planning permissions, yet developers are allowed to create “land banks”, and hold onto sites to build their balance sheets rather than build new homes.

The most damning indictment of the planning process is that there are “brownfield sites” that are unused. Research indicates that there are enough suitable brownfield sites across England to build as many as a million homes. But developers are encouraged to apply to build on open countryside regardless of emerging local plans.

On a lighter note I must praise the people of Huthwaite who turned out for the switching on of the Christmas lights. The Huthwaite Community Action Group, the choir from John Davies Primary School, Kirkby Colliery Band, and Reverend Charlie Maiden were all tremendous.

My visit to St Mary’s Primary School in Sutton to see the “Santas on Strike” nativity play was worthy of a performance at the Palace Theatre. Well done to all the children and teachers who must have put many extra hours in to provide the audience with a night to remember.