Working for Wiltshire - All Year Round
Published on Tuesday 26th June 2012
3 years of work on Wiltshire’s Core Strategy was today put at risk as a result of an irresponsible, kneejerk amendment, forced through by Conservative councillors. The amendment which changed the rules with regard to the fighting of wind farms, means that local community’s will no longer have the final say on whether they want a wind farm in their area.
The original Core Strategy proposed by the Conservative administration stated that all applications for renewable energy sources would have to be treated on a case by case basis, allowing for input from neighbourhood plans written by local communities. The amendment forced through by Conservative backbenchers seizes that decision making from local people, and places it instead in the hands of a select few councillors in Trowbridge.
Liberal Democrat leader Jon Hubbard commented, “I am astonished at the irresponsible behaviour of backbench Conservatives today. Time after time, the Conservative cabinet member has told councillors that making any changes to the core strategy at this late stage could place the whole project at risk. Yet today she bowed down to rebels in her own group and put the whole Core Strategy at risk.
“What I want to know is, if it was possible to make this amendment, then why was it not possible to listen to the people of Chippenham and change the deeply unpopular strategic sites for housing identified there.
“It seems that once again in Wiltshire consultation means ignoring the public and doing whatever you want for this Conservative administration”.
Cllr Ian West from Till and Wylye valley commented. “Today’s vote was not about supporting or not supporting wind farms. Today’s vote was about poor policy making that could put rural communities at greater risk of speculative development. I firmly believe that local communities should make the decision about what is or not build in their area, not a few councillors in Trowbridge”