Letter - Time for a change of approach on house building

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Councillor Denise Jeffery suggests there is a need for 1,600 houses per year in Wakefield across the district (Housing column) and WMDC is working with its ‘partners’ to create these homes.

I don’t know who these ‘partners’ are but suspect she means developers rather than residents – many of whom are up in arms about the imposition of so much additional housing in their immediate locality.

Mrs Jeffery does not appear to be taking cognisance of the foreword to the NPPF which states: “planning must be a creative exercise in finding ways to enhance and improve the places in which we live our lives.

“This should be a collective enterprise. Yet, in recent years, planning has tended to exclude, rather than include, people and communities. In part, this has been a result of targets being imposed, and decisions taken, by bodies remote from them.

“Dismantling the unaccountable regional apparatus and introducing neighbourhood planning addresses this”.

Despite the introduction of the NPPF and Localism Act and despite the abandonment of the Leeds Regional Spatial Strategies and Growth Point Areas which informed much of the WMDC LDF, Mrs Jeffery and her cabinet seem determined to carry on imposing their unsubstantiated housing targets on hapless residents.

I think it about time WMDC revised the LDF to take account of the changes in government policy.

I also think it about time planners and members of the planning committee stopped using the now abandoned regional spatial strategies and growth point areas as “exceptional circumstances” to justify inappropriate housing development in green belt land.

I think this both immoral and illegal and am surprised the communities affected have not sought judicial reviews in the High Court.

Ruth Sheard

New Road