At an extraordinary meeting of Full Council on 20th February, the 14 strong Conservative group all opposed the Progressive Alliance’s proposals for the Local Plan, questioning the soundness of the plan.
Conservative group leader, Cllr. Marcus Hart says, “I and my group completely recognise the need for a properly adopted local plan and the importance of having a 5 year land supply. However, for the past 4 years every other political party has told us that there is too much development proposed in the green belt and we believe that when the Progressive Alliance have had the chance to reduce the numbers they have chosen not to do so. The latest housing need figure that should be used is 248 houses per year not 276 and over the lifetime of the plan this equates to approximately 650 more houses being built in the green belt than is necessary. My group stood on a platform at the May 2019 local elections of not more than one house in the green belt than is necessary and we felt it was essential that we stood by that pledge to the electorate. The NPPF and PPG cannot be ignored and we don’t believe that there will be very special circumstances to justify the departure.”
Cllr. Ian Hardiman added, “We are also very concerned about the Progressive Alliance’s proposals to change the settlement boundary for Blakedown and have a 170 space car park on a field in the green belt. We feel that this proposal is totally ill thought out.”
Cllr. Chris Rogers, from Stourport added, “The Progressive Alliance have been totally hypocritical about the Local Plan. The Green Party and in particular, the member who sits on WFDC completely opposed any development what so ever in the green belt and has now supported circa 3000 houses in the green belt. This is outrageous. Likewise, the other political parties told us we were wrong on our proposals and yet they are ploughing ahead with more houses being built in the green belt than necessary.”