12:00PM, Thursday 01 February 2018
Bray Parish Council chairman Ken Elvin was involved in penning the letters from RBWM RAG.
‘Serious concerns’ about the provision of affordable housing have been raised as the council prepares to submit the final version of the Borough Local Plan (BLP) this week.
Campaign group RBWM Residents Action Group (RRAG) penned an open letter to housing minister Dominic Raab on Tuesday.
It came a day after David Coppinger (Con, Bray) announced the BLP, a planning blueprint for development in the borough up until 2033, would be submitted to the planning inspector by the end of this week.
All being well, the cabinet member for planning hopes the new plan will be in place by the summer.
The inspector will tell the council what is agreed with and advise on any minor changes before setting a date for a public examination.
This is expected to be in three to six months’ time.
People and organisations, including neighbouring local authorities, will have the chance to make comments for and against the plan, which would give restrictions on where developers can and can’t build.
Cllr Coppinger said: “I am relieved we have passed this stage and I will be unbelievably relieved when it is approved.
“Until it is approved we will continue to get developers trying to build in places we don’t want across the borough.
“The sooner we get this approved, the sooner we can protect our countryside.”
In a 900 word letter to the new housing minister, RBWM RAG says that community groups and residents have not been listened to by the council.
The letter states that councillors have not answered ‘legitimate questions’ about how affordable housing will be delivered.
It said: “We believe the BLP as it stands is seriously flawed and should be declared unsound.
“We have made every effort to engage positively with our borough to persuade them to give due consideration to the aims and aspirations of neighbourhood plans and local residents.”
But the group adds that it is ‘strongly pro’ development and supports the need for a BLP.
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