Moon’s Field, Guiseley, was lost at appeal because of a decision by a lone planning inspector from Bristol. There are countless other cases around the country where the same thing is happening, and green fields and greenbelt are being lost to the unelected Bristol quango – despite the wishes of local communities and councillors. Is Localism, the much vaunted new Conservative manifesto policy of 2010 that gave us neighbourhood planning, dead? Some say it is, some say it is gravely ill, whilst planning minister Nick Boles thinks it is an evolving foetus.
On Wednesday 17th July, Nick Herbert MP, secured a debate on Localism and neighbourhood planning, in which Stuart Andrew MP described the experiences of Aireborough, alongside other colleagues from around the country. These experiences are remarkably similar, and give some insight into why housing targets are still being imposed on communities, including Aireborough, rather than letting local people provide for local needs.