Public debate is good for a town

There are two forms of public consultation.

There’s the official form filling/send in your opinions type of survey and then there’s informing people of what is going on and then listening to the feedback.

It is true that some years ago the people of Matlock were given plenty of opportunity to say what they wanted to see in their local plan.

But the real truth is few people actually take part in such exercises. The majority of us leave it up to a few to come up with the ideas and then we debate the outcome in the pub or on Facebook and the letters page of the local paper.

We know that Bakewell Road is going to be developed – goodness knows it needs it – and we are aware what was earmarked for the site in the local plan but it was all a bit vague at that point.

Now we know that six developers are interested in the site with a variety of more detailed schemes and we want to debate them openly before any final decision is made by council officers.

We may well agree with the planners but on the other hand as we live here and it is our town we may have other ideas which we would at least like them to consider. Unless we are told we won’t know. Amanda Hatfield, editor