Dear [constituent name withheld],
As leader of the council that has the statutory duty for decisions here, Chris White cannot comment on planning applications, but he has asked me to respond, given my overlapping local councillor responsibilities and knowledge.
Of course, you know my opposition, as a Lib Dem county (and district) councillor, to the L&G proposals outlined in their planning application, and there is evidence in my submission, that local Lib Dems are very well prepared and able to marshall strong arguments against any developments which neither serve local communities or address the issue of affordable housing provision in the area. This is observed to have happened in the southern parts of the district as well.
In parliament, Daisy Cooper and her Lib Dem colleagues have tabled amendments (monstrously not backed by the Conservatives) to give local planning authorities more powers specifically with regard to the ability to refuse opportunistic developments made ahead of the Local Plan approval cycle and also to do away with inappropriately set top-down targets, as you highlight.
Daisy and her parliamentary colleagues are, of course, closely guided by what they hear on the ground from us and other local party groups, including Chris White's letter to the Secretary of State.
Paul de Kort
The questions the constituent asked Chris White were:
1. Will the Lib Dems be doing all that they reasonably can to oppose this and similar applications, marshalling the strongest arguments available against them, including on appeal if necessary?
2. Will the Lib Dems commit to helping save the Green Belt around the District in the future, for example by resisting the adoption of Local Plan housing targets which bear no resemblance to real housing "need" in the District, as you yourself pointed out in your letter to the Secretary of State dated 21 October 2022?