Thanks to all that were able to join us for last night's village meeting.
In a nutshell - we presented the current status of planning applications around the Bucknell area: HawkHell, Himley, Elmsbrook, Firethorn to name just some, as well the new draft Cherwell Local Plan that will be out for consultation (we expect in September).
We need action now though. Why?
Did you know that in the world of the civil servants at Cherwell District Council that 10 = 30? Obviously wrong, but that is what they think.
The Firethorn application (around 530 houses around the Elmsbrook development) should have had 30% affordable housing as part of the plan. But the lovely developers wrote a grovelling letter to the civil servants to say that they wouldn't make enough money if they had to provide 30% affordable housing - could they lower it to 10% instead?
Rather than following the decision of our elected councillors at Cherwell (who rejected the application), and just as an appeal was being heard by the Building Inspector, those civil servants decided to agree to this reduction. So much for providing housing for locals that need affordable places to live.
We need as many people as possible to write to District Councillors, County Councillors and MP's to express frustration that their decision (made by democratically elected officials) has been overridden by civil servants.
The real issue is that this sets a precedent. If civil servants will just roll over and give in to the developer's demands for Firethorn, imagine the impact that these same people could have at HawkHell.