LETTER:Planning process needs to be explained to us

Duncan Smith’s “As I See It” article regarding the planning system was a good point well made and is always something that has to be kept in mind.

The problem is the ordinary person is not aware of the planning system – and that is the crux of the problem.

How can RVBC call the core strategy consultation when all the facts, including the planning system, are not out in the public domain? All we know is that a certain amount of houses will be built and the so-called consultation just wants us to indicate where to locate them.

I do understand our democracy means we elected people to represent us and make decisions on our behalf, but this situation has escalated into something far bigger than a handful of people deciding the future of the Ribble Valley. The public should be given the full facts on everything, including the planning system, the core strategy and the information from a recent consultants’ report. Unfortunately the information from RVBC is fed down via long-winded documentation hardly anyone reads. Those that do find it almost impossible to understand.

This will happen yet again when another document is placed in the public domain for “consultation”! This document is 95 pages long. I have read through it once and do not fully understand it. The question is how many people will bother to read it, and how many will understand it? This is not consultation. This is lip service.

This serious subject is worthy of public debate and RVBC should be organising several meetings around the Ribble Valley and coming clean about what this project means to all our communities. There is currently a train of thought that indicates we do not require as many houses as we first thought, what about a bit of information on this – it’s important.

Perhaps our new MP Rick Shaw could visit the Ribble Valley and conduct road shows explaining to residents how the new localism bill favours developers over local people and makes it even more difficult for planning officers to turn down applications. Word of warning Nigel if you do take up this offer, please use a taxi!

STEVE RUSH,

Clitheroe