I have just got back from watching the first hour and a quarter of the planning committee meeting at Highfields School. I had to leave as my old collie, Jasper, is ill, and that is all the time I dare risk – he was OK by the way, I got back in time.
For the people who stayed, I hope it livened up a bit, although that would not have bothered the couple I was sat next to, who had already nodded off. I will attempt to summarise what I heard.
Firstly though – some time back I was asked by email if I wished to speak at the meeting.
All views were to be given equal time.
If 100 people had one view and one person had a different view they were allocated the same time to speak.
This struck me as very convenient when most people were anti in this case.
Where did they find that town planner?. Incidentally, how do I know if I want to speak when I have not seen the revised plan? Onwards...
It appears the population of Matlock is going to decrease, but we must build houses for people who might move here.
One man from the audience was given 45 seconds to speak and make his point by the chairman, Councillor Rose OBE, who I believe was given his honour for his outstanding work in the promotion of humility and politeness.
There is a 5% buffer which is not covered in the housing estimates.
We must build 5% more houses in case someone happens to want them.
An internet poll suggested that the housing estimates were ok. Unfortunately only members of the committee knew about it. What an odd result.
Two people spoke very eloquently about problems in Doveridge.
They have my sympathy. That stopped two people from Matlock speaking.
Several councillors sent apologies. Several more were put in as substitutes.
I bet they were up to speed on housing issues. The direct searching nature of the questioning certainly would have proved it if it had happened.
The questions made a Ronnie Corbett monologue seem incisive.
There were direct questions about Brown field sites, Cawdor, Tansley wood mill, and Halldale quarry.
The answer given was Cawdor was already counted in the figures. The other two were ignored. Are they counted?.
If we don’t allocate enough house sites there may be planning applications to build on green field sites we can do nothing about.
If we build on them first this can’t happen.
I see the logic behind this and can’t find a fault.
Lums Hill Rise.