I have tried twice this week to post a comment on the Malmesbury Neighbourhood Steering Group
website, on Tuesday 2nd April and again on Thursday 4th April. I believe the
comments are only allowed to be made once from an IP address so I tried once
from home and as the comment didn't appear in the following days,
again from another location but it has yet to appear.
I would be grateful if my comment below could be forwarded to be posted.
In my view the Malmesbury Neighbourhood Steering Group (MNSG) have missed an opportunity in
the formation of a Neighbourhood Plan
It seems to me that the MNSG could have engaged with the other un-preferred developers as
well as their chosen ones perhaps persuading them to limit their proposed
developments. So besotted with the Waitrose application they have virtually
excluded Sainsburys, Gleesons and JB Planning Associates from the process.
In the case of Sainsburys application, this is officially a brownfield site. The MNSG have
chosen to call this a Greenfield site on the basis that a small part of the
proposed development encroaches onto Greenfield land. Why not stipulate that if
Sainburys got approval they only build on the brownfield bit.
The Co-op could have been given more encouragement to expand a little to satisfy
identified need and resist unnecessary retail development.
The same with Gleesons – why not have thrown them a bone, stipulate they can build but
only a limited amount of houses.
Surely the point of the NP is to get agreement on what level of development can and can’t
go forward and to set limits and parameters.
Now the town is left with a battle against understandably irritated developers who with
approval may have no such limits placed upon them.
The weighted scoring system devised and employed by the MNSG has been done to favour the
Waitrose site over others and the first draft plan hurried along to resist
Gleesons. Scored in such a way to provide a desired outcome. A small number of
the group have decided what to add weight to, deciding what they think is
important, more to the point, what will work best to dismiss possible sites and
favour the ones that were preferred from the outset.
This is evident to the developers and their lawyers and has attracted strong criticism
from many on this comments board and from within the MNSG itself.
There has been a continual rebutting of remarks questioning the scoring system and an
inflexibility to budge despite valid concerns raised quoting only the support
for their plan but never really answering the deeper questions.
Ultimately the NP may or may not carry the influence it had hoped but that the MNSG failed
to attempt to place limits on potential development beyond those it sought to
approve may be its biggest legacy and potentially lead to more and
disproportionate development as a
Malmesbury Neighbourhood Steering Group
What others are saying about our Draft Neighbourhood Plan Over 500 residents have already looked at the draft plan. These are the comments that they have made about it.
Our consultation runs from the 5th of March 2013 to April 26th 2013. These are the published comments received up to 08/03/13.
All comments below were submitted to this online feedback portal. We hold the identity and addresses for each submission and have decided not to publish them unless specifically requested by the person who submitted them.