The Local Development Framework (LDF) item (Guardian April 4) is only part of the story.
LDF consultation started in 2003/4 and in letters to this newspaper I urged local people to get involved. The process went through various machinations and 10 years later the LDF has been submitted to the Minister of State, Eric Pickles.
Only in these final stages have over 7,000 people woken up to object. Where were these people 10 years ago to contribute to the final LDF outcome?
Many of these objections stem from how the LDF involves them personally so unfortunately they fall into the NIMBY category. They do not seem to get that having an LDF identifying where building can take place protects us from indiscriminate intrusion onto the Green Belt.
The recently introduced Government policy removes KMC’s discretion to refuse Green Belt development. Other councils, even in the Tory heartlands, see this as a major threat.
If the objectors to the LDF are successful they will have opened all green spaces within Kirklees to ‘ad hoc’ uncontrolled development. No wonder the list of property developers objecting to the LDF is so extensive.
Without an LDF KMC will not be able to refuse developments like Norristhorpe ‘Eco Village’ or Blacup Farm as the developers will argue they are ‘sustainable’! This is the main criteria outlined in the new legislation for approval.
The LDF process is being mirrored today in the attack on the NHS which is opposed by many of the health professionals but does not seem to have raised much concern from the public.
No doubt in 10 years time or less when the damage has been done people will be objecting in large numbers about the moves which have been embarked on today.