10:17am Thursday 25th October 2012 in Letters
WITH regard to the letters in last week’s edition (Barry and District News, October 18) relating to the Labour party’s commitment to the review of the current LDP and to provide a new LDP, it was reassuring to see that despite various claims to the contrary Labour councillors including Neil Moore, John Drysdale and Claire Curtis have been categoric in their statements that the draft LDP has been scrapped and that it will be replaced by a new LDP.
The new administration is concerned about a number of issues that the current LDP has not addressed including congestion, infrastructure and the amount of housing that is proposed for Barry and the South East Vale and they propose that the new LDP will aim to provide a fair balance of development across the Vale based on a sound estimate of what is needed.
However, councillor Lis Burnett unfortunately contradicts all of these positive statements stating that they had reviewed the strategy put in place by the last Labour-led administration in 2007 and found that to be still sound and that it is the Deposit LDP which has gone so wrong. It is difficult to understand how she is of that view because the problem with the Deposit LDP is that it is based on the 2007 approved strategy which states that “it will concentrate development opportunities in Barry and the South East Zone.” This is exactly what the current Deposit LDP does, with the vast majority of the new housing allocations in this area ie the very area where there is already congestion and infrastructure capacity issues. There are now even more houses allocated in Barry and the South East which will further exasperate the infrastructure and congestion problems.
It should also be remembered that when Labour approved the Strategy in 2007 it was on the basis of a requirement for 7500 houses and that there were no site allocations. I am sure if they had been aware at that time that the dwelling requirement was to increase to 10,000 houses and that the officers intended to allocate the extra houses in the Deposit LDP in accordance with the approved strategy on inappropriate sites in Barry, Sully and Penarth they would not have approved the strategy in 2007.
However, we are where we are and if the Labour party genuinely want to make the fundamental changes to the LDP they have promised and as stated “provide a fair balance of development across the Vale” they must be extremely cautious that the officers of both the Vale of Glamorgan and Welsh Government (whose main interest appears to be to move forward with the current deposit LDP rather than change the LDP strategy) do not attempt to prevent the new administration from making the changes that they have promised. To carry out their promise of major changes to the LDP will require the strategy to be amended and this cannot be achieved within the scope of Focused Changes.
A D Riddell New Forest View Cowbridge