Don’t meddle with planning!

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I have blogged previously about my home town of Malmesbury in Wiltshire and the two supermarkets that are trying to open in the town – Sainsbury’s and Waitrose. The planning issues have caused huge debate in the town and the local MP has been very vocal – possibly not with the towns best interests in mind…..

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leave well alone please Eric!

The applications were both delayed from earlier in the year to allow further discussion (as the Government is keen to promote) and were decided in June by the planning committee – and the decision went as recommended by the planning officer – a refusal for Sainsbury’s (situated too far away from the town) and consent for the Waitrose on the site behind the old silk mill. In my opinion the correct decision – the Waitrose site is close enough to the town to work with it rather than against it.

So in an ideal world the planning officers decision (he is paid to advise after all) would stand. But not if you are the local MP it appears. He asked the Communities Secretary Eric Pickles to call the decision in. This has caused further uncertainty in the town – exactly what it doesn’t need at the moment. After all, who would open a new business in a town with this level of uncertainty hanging over it?

I wrote this blog some while ago and didn’t get round to publishing it, I considered its subject was probably a ‘one off’ and perhaps I was getting worked up over nothing! But this week a very similar situation has occurred here in Nottingham – an MP asking for a decision to be called in again by Eric Pickles, despite all due process having been followed.

In my mind this just can’t be right, holding back land in this way delays both house building (which the Government are demanding) and the economy as a whole. It also appears to be totally at odds with what the Government claim to be trying to achieve with their ‘localism’ program.

Perhaps it’s time to think about local issues first and politics second?

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2 thoughts on “Don’t meddle with planning!

    Tony Housewifeface said:
    September 23, 2013 at 5:09 pm

    Waitrose is a pretentious, over-priced supermarket which exists purely for pretentious, over-paid yuppies. It is an alternative for Co-op or Sainsburys in the same way that, say, Apple Mp3 players are an alternative for Archos Mp3 players –Archos is more powerful, easier to use, a hundred times more cost-effective –but because the Apple brand is desired by the rich –for no real reason– people think it somehow has a right to exist. It doesn’t. If Waitrose comes to Malmesbury, no new money will be generated; all that will happen is that the rich-poor divide will be squared up a little more.

      Simon Dare responded:
      September 23, 2013 at 5:16 pm

      Seems a touch harsh? I am not sure how a supermarket can be described as ‘pretentious’ – it is what it is.

      Do I assume therefore that you are in favour of Sainsbury’s plan for Malmesbury? This would tear the heart out of the town – Waitrose won’t in my view – people who currently go to Cirencester for the Waitrose there will go to this one perhaps?

      Oh, and yes I prefer Apple products – they are nicer to use, look at and also last better – I believe that is my choice (as is where I shop?)

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