Planning, Democracy and Destruction

Baroness Deech

Fracking was in the news today, as government approval was given to fracking sites in Lancashire, despite the widespread local opposition to it, and against the wishes of the County Council.  I am not surprised. Government spokespersons bombard us with promises of plans for local democracy and consultation; councils promise residents that their wishes will be heeded; guidance and plans are circulated for years and submissions invited.  And in the end, local wishes are overridden in favour of perceived national interest and claims for an improved economy. I speak from some bitter experience with my own little corner of the south east.

Locally we have, or rather, had, a thriving small shopping centre.  Everything you could wish for to see you through day to day needs, especially as you get older and less inclined to drive through the jams into town and try to park, or take an infrequent bus.  From funeral parlours to travel agents, from Indian restaurant to supermarkets, from optician to banks, from newsagents to beauty salons, from library to betting shop, it was all there. And then there came a developer who plans to buy it all from the owner, the district council, and pull it down.

In its place there will be the ugliest 8-storey blocks you can imagine, less retail space, and unwanted, unsuitable student accommodation and a cheap chain hotel.  Hundreds of students and travellers will be introduced into a small space with insufficient parking. At the moment, we enjoy free parking at street level.  It will be underground paid parking soon, so the convenience of popping over for a paper and a haircut will be over. There is much more I could say about pollution, traffic congestion, noise, danger and so on, but you can imagine it.  There are, I expect, many such new concrete unattractive shopping centres going up all over the country.

Of course hundreds of locals objected to the plan, over a period of years, and serious research was undertaken and submitted to the Council about the unsuitability of the site for students, the pollution problems, the design, the breach of local guidance and use plans.  To no avail.  The councillors, who do not live nearby, were told that what mattered was the “economy”. The district council will sell it for a high price.  The little shops which have served us for so long will be put out of business (will they come back? I doubt it as the rents will be escalated); we will no longer have a community focus.  Blight has already descended as leases are being ended, and decay is creeping into what had been a lively and clean area. The developer has even escaped making the usual required provision of affordable housing because the scheme is so financially rocky. We local residents cannot afford, and probably would not win a judicial review.  That is because all our objections were met with the argument, unsupported by evidence, that stimulating the local economy must override everything else.

Money isn’t everything – even in relation to Brexit – and it is unlikely that this new centre will be a money spinner.  We locals will just drive right past it, or take the bus to the other supermarkets a little further away.  I really hope it goes bust.  But the destruction will have been carried out and the developer will move on.


6 comments for “Planning, Democracy and Destruction

  1. maude elwes
    08/10/2016 at 11:02 am

    You are so right, Baroness, our country is being turned into a sewer and permission for these sewers is generated from the top. Safe seats are often a reason for the nonchalance of local councillors. Which is why, although I do not want to, I have to vote for a local Mayor when it is time. It is the only way any heat can be applied in such matters.

    Fracking: As we are all very aware, this form of ‘mining’ creates severe pollution and health risks. It also creates a shift in the tectonic plates around the fracked areas which often result in earthquakes. It will change the spot it starts with into a hell hole and those responsible, as always, will be left unaccountable for their actions. Whether that be the politicians and their cronies or the companies that lie to get permission. Those at the top will run hiding in their off shore bank safety deposit boxes when the muck hits the fan.

    And it won’t stop there. Once they have permission they spread their hell across the entire country. No one will escape the fall out.

    Back to local abuse of the citizens.

    A friend of mine has moved into a very pretty home counties village. After taking up residence they find a neighbour has permission to park their car a few feet from, like six feet, across from their front door. It’s an obstacle to their entry and exit as they are severely disabled and have large mobility scooters and wheelchairs to get past the car in the way. Should there be a fire it could be dreadful. However, worse is when the owner starts that car up and leave it to warm, the fumes from it go straight into the house via the front door and windows, which creates bad asthmatic attacks that cannot be stopped. My friend is allergic to all kinds of medication and cannot get any relief. And it happens periodically all day long.

    Apparently the local Council gave permission for a car parking space to be allocated across this front door and ‘cleverly’ it was not allocated to the house whose front door is blocked from entry or exit. Of course, it is a relatively new built property 12 years old. How much do these councils pocket for these eerie and peculiar decisions they make? I have tried to find a government organisation that deals with air pollution like this to no avail. Yet we read in our papers that pollution from motor vehicles is one of the killers we have to address if we don’t want rampant illness in children and vulnerable adults to grow out of all proportion.

    The fracking is going down the same perverted route we have seen from car pollution as it is always the same mantra. It makes money, it gives jobs and so must be acceptable. No mention is ever made on how much it costs the NHS, the one we all willingly pay for, a fortune. Could that be because it also creates jobs as well as all kinds of fat pay offs given freely, in order to get a turned blind eye to what we are doing to ourselves and our children.

    The only answer to all this corruption in office has to be severe legal retaliation on the individuals involved in the game of deception. Perhaps bringing back hanging may be the answer! Something of a noose they cannot escape from.

  2. 22/10/2016 at 12:50 pm

    Your, and maude elwes’s
    [“only inputs” so far alas! ] for
    “the increase and improvement
    of every level of ‘democracy and public-consultation’ ”
    the prevailing secretly-protected High-Oligarchichal 3-party-state’s
    posing as not just “a”
    but in an historically stuck-in-the-mud sense “The”
    and its “Planned-Destruction” Results ].

    Your words are so “right-on”
    and “participatory-democratisation-leaderful”…

    And there are, majorly, at least three further “controlling-contexts” that need to be seen, read, learned, and inwardly-digested …

  3. tizres
    24/10/2016 at 2:15 pm

    The link below lists the developments for new student accommodation. The numbers involved may explain the lack of enthusiasm in building affordable homes, and more.

    • maude elwes
      27/10/2016 at 5:01 pm

      What a eye opening link this is!

      However, lets do hope the Councils refrain from any planning permission for buildings that destroy the beauty of these ancient cities. Should there be any. Oxford is a complete wreck. The picture of the Tom Tower belies reality in that once glorious city. We’ve rolled back years of advancement in architecture of any sort by having groups of eye illiterate imbeciles who will only give permission for ugly, warped design to prove their allegiance to ‘minimalism.’ They call it class war. However, it is much deeper than that.

      Which, after serious analysis, only expresses more hatred of the British people and their genuine culture.

      All you need do is take a visit to Brighton and Hove since the Tories were out voted. It’s become a town of hovels. Isn’t that elitist of me.

      However, I’m sure they will get back to building vast dungeon like rat holes to house those over age adult males they are allowing in as pretend children. They are, after all, the lovers of so many aid workers who can’t keep their ridiculous minds off probable separation as ‘devotion’ is in the air. And the British tax payer is up for it. Are they not.

      • LordBlagger
        28/10/2016 at 3:47 pm

        One part of Brighton that works and is new are the arches on the Front.

        Look at the rest and its the parts that the council hasn’t affected that are good. Lanes to the listed developments.

  4. 02/11/2016 at 6:48 pm

    Other Major points
    and Overshadowing-cum-Underlurking Contexts
    also exist:

    1. We British Peoples are over-consuming
    [beyond both our own and the whole Earth’s “means”]
    this Earth’s Lifesupports
    at a rate of 5-times the Earth’s “carrying-ability”
    and Global-Civilisation’s “sustainworthily-sustainable entitlement”
    [see “How Many People Can Live On Planet Earth” SKY Eden;
    and Not-for-Profit, Power, nor Prestige
    “voluntary Earth-citizenships” website].

    2. At least one Economics textbook begins by instructing us
    [not just ‘telling’, but commanding, indoctrinating us
    to believe, physically-obey and ‘fight-to-the-death-to-defend’]
    that Economics is based upon
    (i) Human-beings are insatiable.
    (ii) Planet Earth’s Resources are “self-renewable”.
    There are many more such hidden, often “concealed” Contexts,
    as many erstwhile contributors to LordsoftheBlog have been pointing out;
    but let me jump to the noble baroness’s end paragraph, that:
    “Money isn’t everything …
    (neither are the ‘one-way-top-down-dictated’ development-decisions and results
    of the Concealed-Upper-Oligarchy’s “money-spinning longest-term strategic
    national-commitments and mass-public-‘cannon-fodder’ conscriptions”) …”
    3. Constitutions, Legislations, Regulations, Declarations [including of War] –
    all get forcibly put into action,
    by mere-words.
    Likewise, “money”
    which also ‘merely’ represents Things, Lifesupports,
    and People “on the ground” –
    is a never-accurate, always corruptible, “figment-of-reality”.
    (So the noble baroness,
    just as an equal human-being with us all,
    foresees, and supports, the naturally-common health and wellbeing Need,
    by ‘by-passing’ her area’s “sharkishly-destructive lifesupports-and-socially-civil infrastructure “Development”)

    And we really need to “machine-less-ly “Re-Group” our urban over-populations
    into Countryside “singularly Longest-Term sustainworthily-sustainable,
    Holistic-Health and “one-human-living-each” -foundationing and building, “Equalistic-Tenancies Estates” –
    which would include as one of its “sea-changes” the urgent-emergency manufacture literally of millions of Caravans
    [to be semi-permanently sited on existing and new
    “Sustainworthying Country Trust Rentals-Only Estates”]…
    “Six Thinking Hats” would be useful here –
    but should “forbid” the use of the “Black” mode of thinking
    until at least 4th place in any Think-Tank’s mode-sequencing.

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