I am totally amazed by the letter sent by Councillor Don Davis, deputy leader of Ashfield District Council.
(Read Coun Davis’ letter here.)
Was he at the meeting of the planning committee listening to the arguments for the refusal?
Had he read all the documentation regarding the refusals or was he pre-determined to accept the proposal?
How can a councillor on the planning committee chastise three Independent councillors, when two Labour councillors and two Conservative councillors voted with them to refuse the application. And may I say ‘well done’, since they have represented the views of the public, who provided almost 2,000 objections, giving numerous reasons why the development should not take place.
If I remember correctly, district councillors are on the council to represent the views of their constituents, not, as in this instance, the Labour Party, so I do hope the two Labour councillors are not deselected, due to not following the party whip.
The council should be run for the benefit of the electorate, not party politics.
Coun Davis had the opportunity to visit the Ashland Road site, with planning department staff, but chose not to attend.
How can one make an informed decision when not even bothering to visit the site and see the detrimental effect it will have on the ‘jewel in the crown’ Brierley Forest, the wildlife and the ever-present deer and habitat?
I feel this application has not addressed the Japanese knotweed on the site, which needs a four-year-programme before any development, the infrastructure, the traffic problems, flooding and sewerage that are already prevalent, and Coun Davis proclaims there are no grounds for refusal.
I do realise we need more houses, but use existing brownfield sites first, before destroying green and countryside land along with making the empty and boarded-up houses habitable and use dormant industrial sites.
Coun Davis also speaks of the council losing money now that this site has been refused, but that is not new.
Past Labour-run authorities at Ashfield have cost residents thousands of pounds with their policies, and still do in my view with the latest red- lidded bin debacle, when all that was needed was everyone within reason to have a garden waste bin free of charge.
Former Ashfield councillor, Riley Avenue, Sutton
Read about the Ashland Road decision here