9:13am Thursday 18th October 2012 in Letters
THE LDP continues to take centre stage in local media and so it should. The Local Development Plan is the key document which will guide the development of our communities over the next 15 years. It not only decides where development should take place but what infrastructure such as jobs, transport, schools etc are needed.
I’m delighted people in the Vale are concerned and want to be involved in discussions. That’s exactly why we campaigned against attempts to push through what we felt was such an unsustainable plan.
The new administration has, since May, carried out a root and branch review of the work to date on the Local Development Plan. Despite recent reports, letters and articles in the press, there is no truth in the comments that we are going back on promises made before the election.
At the time, we stated that we felt the Draft Local Development Plan was not sustainable. Our first action was to review the strategy put in place by the last Labour-led administration back in 2007 to underpin its development. We found that still sound and very relevant so we set about exploring how, in our opinion the Deposit Plan had gone so wrong. The key issue for me is that whereas the Strategy itself is sound, there are questions to be asked as to how the Draft LDP has interpreted that Strategy.
We formed the view that it does not address shortcomings in infrastructure and fails to deal with key issues relating to traffic growth and congestion. We also confirmed our view that the consultation carried out was not satisfactory and far too complicated.
As Cabinet Member with responsibility for a LDP, I remain committed that the end product will address these concerns.
Developing a new sustainable plan takes a lot of work and involves numerous meetings, discussions and telephone conversations between council officers and Welsh Government officials as well as those between Cllr Neil Moore, myself and Welsh Government Ministers to explore all the options open to us in putting forward an alternative and sustainable LDP. We have also explored ways of ensuring that future consultation is more meaningful, and easier for all those with an interest to get involved and to make their voice heard.
Suffice to say, contrary to the comments of those who support the previous administration in the Vale of Glamorgan, who thrust the current Deposit Plan upon us, the Plan that will be presented to the Inspector as our final version will not be the same Plan. It will be a sustainable, credible plan which will take all views into account. I am confident at that point people will agree that we did in fact scrap the LDP.
Councillor Lis Burnett Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Innovation, Planning & Transportation Vale of Glamorgan Council