THERE is an element of sense in putting the controversial Local Development Framework for South Lakeland temporarily on hold.
If, as town councillors in Ulverston have claimed, some of the sites earmarked for potential housing developments are on flood plains, there seems little sense in keeping them on the plan.
The question, however, is how they have survived so far – and how much it has cost to get to this late stage in proceedings. There have been ample opportunities to raise concerns of this nature.
Yet it is only now, in the final throes of the process, that councillors have spoken out to the degree they are calling for the plan to be redone.
There is sense in placing certain elements of the LDP on ice until those sites at the centre of the claims can be re-assessed.
But there is little point in putting the whole thing on hold – or as has been suggested, ripping it up and starting again with the government’s Localism Bill in mind.
Placing an element of a scheme’s destiny into the hands of the public must wholeheartedly be supported.
But allowing communities to hold the upper hand in a matter as delicate as this will only lead to nimbyism ruling the roost.
Decisions would be made in many cases on the basis of self interest; how, for example, a particular development might affect an individual’s property price or view.
The sensible decision here is to press ahead with the incumbent LDP as a project – while re-examining certain sites at the centre of flood speculation.
Published: March 14, 2012
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