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8:00am Thursday 31st May 2012 in Letters
Sir – The CPRE is glad that the Vale of White Horse District Council has abandoned its Interim Housing Supply Policy (IHSP), together with its implications for first-come, first-served development on green-field sites.
No new survey had been carried out to determine which sites were most suitable for house-building in or near smaller villages or on available brown-field land.
Undeterred, the Vale has now converted the IHSP to an Interim Housing Supply Statement. The CPRE asks ‘To what extent does the Vale intend its Planning Committee to take this statement into account?’ and ‘When will the Vale confirm that the IHSP screening information gathered from developers who wish to build on green-field sites cannot be used?’ The district council has wasted much time on the IHSP, rather than formulating a new core strategy to govern its planning decisions. The NPPF gives just one year under the old local plan rules to put this strategy in place, after which only the much abbreviated Government NPPF guidance holds sway. However, even during the current year, any conflict between the NPPF and the old local plan could lead to litigation and decisions on appeal not in the best interests of Vale residents.
In seeking to meet building targets, the Vale would best be advised to encourage development of more appropriate sites, such as the Grove Airfield, which, at a stroke, would protect us all from irreparable damage to the countryside.
Peter Collins, Chairman, Campaign to Protect Rural England, Vale of White Horse District, Letcombe Regis