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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 January 2010 at 6:09pm
The first meeting regarding these issues attended by our counseller's in Amersham is now tommorrow!!!Confused
Too many laws...
Too few examples...
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 January 2010 at 6:35pm
Yes CDC in their wisdom have brought the date forward, although the 27th still pertains to the Core Strategy, but I think it will be spent going through the minutes.

Unfortunately the leaflets that were sent listed it as 27th, we revised them as soon as we found out, but with such short notice it will be difficult to inform everyone.

SO THE MEETING IS NOW ON 21st JANUARY


Edited by SENSE - 20 January 2010 at 6:37pm
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 January 2010 at 11:31am
Originally posted by SENSE SENSE wrote:

Yes CDC in their wisdom have brought the date forward, although the 27th still pertains to the Core Strategy, but I think it will be spent going through the minutes.

Unfortunately the leaflets that were sent listed it as 27th, we revised them as soon as we found out, but with such short notice it will be difficult to inform everyone.

SO THE MEETING IS NOW ON 21st JANUARY
Isn't there still ALSO one on 27th Jan?  AND one on 2nd Feb?
 
What's the difference/which is most important?
 
That's the answer - what's the question?
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 January 2010 at 11:58am
Originally posted by Number42 Number42 wrote:

Originally posted by SENSE SENSE wrote:

Yes CDC in their wisdom have brought the date forward, although the 27th still pertains to the Core Strategy, but I think it will be spent going through the minutes. Unfortunately the leaflets that were sent listed it as 27th, we revised them as soon as we found out, but with such short notice it will be difficult to inform everyone. SO THE MEETING IS NOW ON 21st JANUARY

Isn't there still ALSO one on 27th Jan?  AND one on 2nd Feb?
 

What's the difference/which is most important?

 


The meeting tonight (21st Feb) is the first of the Planning and Overview committee meetings where the DCS will be scrutinised. We have gathered much evidence to highlight it's obvious faults and we hope it will collapse by itself. However the determination of CDC and central government to build on CSP is quite unbelievable and with their abilities to change our hard fought and won laws to suit their policies, even the most sturdy and rational of arguments could be totally ineffectual. There is actually a meeting on the 27th where they will be going through the minutes from the meeting on 21st, we still have to establish if this worth attending.

The most important meeting is the 2nd February, it is at 2.00 - quite conveniently! This is the cabinet meeting, where John Warder and Linda Smith will make their official decision. Both resident in CSP and elected councillors, both are expected to push ahead and decide in favour of the DCS. John Warder being head of CDC council is ultimately responsible for creating the DCS, so he is in effect approving his own work.

The meeting on 23rd February is where the full council will ratify the decision, if there is enough opposition to the DCS the Cabinet's decision may still get overturned on this date.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 January 2010 at 12:42pm
Another set back has just been announced.

We are basing much of our argument on the poor consultation period that CDC gave us for the DCS, you might have read that earlier on in the thread.

Now it turns out that central government actually reduced the required consultation period substantially. This is obviously part of their Russian style of politics where the tax payer and resident have no say at all and they just steam roll their government plans through to completion. The 2006 CDC Statement of Community involvement sets out CDC obligations on consultancy(prepared by themselves of course). Though it is very unlikely they fulfilled all of their own stated intentions.

So the inspectorate has actually said that it looks like CDC have met all of the requirements for a satisfactory consultation.

80 people responded to the 'consultation' back in 2008 which involved a small ad in a council magazine which nobody reads and some sheets of paper pinned to a board in local libraries. Whether this was as much as they were expected to do is not what's important, they need to show that the 'consultation' was effective, which it definitely wasn't. The recent Parish Council survey with a huge 92% of the village against the development shows this, they will, however, do their level best to sweep this under the carpet.

Who were these 80 people? It is very likely that they were told by CDC to respond and it is very likely that they were sympathetic to John Warder's plans.

We have to kick up a real fuss about this because we have been truly stitched up by our District Council.

We are working on an on-line poll.

In the meantime it is essential the as many people as possible write to Cheryl Gillan to complain about this non existant under-publicised 'consultation'. Letters to councillors: John Warder, Linda Smith, John Wertheim,Geoff Peters, Don Phillips, Nick Rose etc would also be very useful too.

Some sites/pdfs to look at:

To be able to demonstrate that they understand the needs and wishes of their local communities is a requirement of the CAA - part of the Improvement and Development Agency:
http://www.consultationinstitute.org/

CDC's 'consultation' flies in the face of everything in the Consultation Guidelines for English Local Authorities. See:
http://www.communities.gov.uk/documents/localgovernment/pdf/133631.pdf

CDC have contravened the cabinet office's code of practice by not monitoring the effectiveness of the consultation or even appointing a designated consultation coordinator. See:
http://www.cabinetoffice.gov.uk/newsroom/news_releases/2004/040120_code.aspx
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 January 2010 at 2:26pm
Chiltern District Council Planning and Overview Meeting 21st January

Present:
Chalfont St Peter members who spoke were: Geoff Peters (Central ward), John Wertheim (Austenwood ward), Isobel Darby (Gold Hill ward) and David Meacock (Chalfont Common ward).
Philip Priestley also spoke. He lives in Chalfont St Peter but sits for Chesham Bois and Weedon Hill.
John Warder (Central ward) was present but did not speak.
Elaine Bamford (Chesham) also spoke supporting Chalfont St Peter.
Don Phillips (Little Chalfont and Chairman of the Planning Committee) also spoke

We had 78 attendees from the village also members of SENSE4CSP, which I thought was excellent given the change of date and all, so thank you to everyone that came, it was very clear indeed that your presence made a real difference - despite John Warder's derisory comment that "Rent-a-mob has no influence". I did not see any other groups from other towns or villages there, so we can be clear about which village has been hit hardest.

The meeting started with a few strange comments: it was said that the Draft Core Strategy was never supposed to be open to consultation. Which is strange because as laid out in the 'Consultation Guidelines for English Local Authorities' it's says exactly the opposite. So if that's their position, why did they claim only last week that the DCS had been open to public consultation? This just shows how they are desperately trying to hide mistakes - and failing.

What they have made clear is that they are now going to offer the DCS up to a full public consultation, they said that they will maildrop everyone and offer the chance for the public to make their comments. This would not have happened if Chalfont St Peter had not put the pressure on CDC, so it works and well done to everyone. However, too little too late CDC! You've already made your choice, any consultation at this stage is pointless, what are we being consulted on? There were four options of which CDC chose option 3, the least popular, which targets Chalfont St Peter as the main recipient of housing for the district. If this had been open to public consultation this option would never have been chosen, as it stands, even amongst the District Councillors option 3 wasn't the most popular, it has come to light that it was John Warder's enthusiasm for option 3 that sealed our fate.

Please make Councillor John Warder's arrogance and unpopularity known to him, as chairman of CDC, he lives in Chalfont Heights, also a parish councillor and representative to our village. Please note back in 1968 when the Precinct was built and our ancient village centre was destroyed, the chairman of CSP Parish council was also on the county council ... this is history repeating itself.

The general feeling amongst the Council was that the Core Strategy document is a necessary evil that we need to appease our aggressive central government that we have the land available to build our quotas. One councillor gave a long waffle filled speech about how important the Core Strategy is and how we are in danger of delaying it to the detriment of the District (planning by appeal). I’m sure this is true, so all the more reason to make sure it’s right and that it also reflects the wishes of the community. One councillor said the public didn’t understand it and complained about the language being used. I think he missed the point somewhat. The public obviously understand it more than the council, hence the reason we are so annoyed!

The core strategy and it's supportive documents show designated sites that will receive the new housing, none of this will be under 30 dwellings per hectare. Carol Castle said that we shouldn't be concerned because these quantities are only indications that we have the available sites, they will not necessarily use them. WHAT NONSENSE, we already have developers queueing up for the Holy Cross with plans based on a core strategy that hasn't even been approved yet! They must be seriously out of touch if they think that they, us or anyone will stand a chance against development firms when they have a copy of the DCS to brandish.

I have to say our CSP representative councillors did us proud, Isobel Darby, John Wertheim and David Meacock were particularly outspoken about the issues relating to Chalfont St Peter, councillors from other towns were also criticising the CSP issues and they weren't even representative of CSP, that's the strength of feeling about the Draft Core Strategy.

Don Phillips, chairman of the planning and overview committee summed up at the end of the meeting by praising the work everyone had done (I don't know why). He pointed out that without a Core Strategy document CSP would be vulnerable to appeals by developers and that countering these appeals would cost the council tax payer a lot of money. I say yes of course, but this Core Strategy is poorly constructed, out of touch due to a bungled public consultation and doomed to failure, I can't see that the ruination of Chalfont St Peter is a worthwhile sacrifice.

We were also told by Don Phillips that Chiltern District Council has very little control over planning, as little as 40%. He continued to say that they cannot influence what land owners want to do with their land, if they want to build on it and it is suitable then there's little they can do to stop it.

- But of course, it is Chiltern District Council who are granting the Holy Cross a residential status so that they can then sell it for huge sums. It would take a simple refusal to grant residential on it and we would potentially have a site for our oversubscribed middle school. So CDC do have control especially in this instance - the most hotly contested site of them all.

Don Phillips trivialised the fact that CSP middle school was over subscribed by saying that every town and village had oversubscribed schools, every town had failing infrastructures and inadequate healthcare provision. But wrong! CSP stands out because it is the only school in the district with no playing field. The poor children have to eat their sandwiches off their laps due to the canteen having being converted into classrooms, they eat sandwiches because there is no room or facilities for anyone to heat food. This is our new generation, surely they deserve more respect than this? This is criminally negligent.

So our thoughts are that Chiltern District Council is trying to show a strong front, but they are crumbling under our pressure, everyone agrees that the consultation was as good as non-existant, hence poor decisions have been made and the public has to now take control.

Don't forget to keep up to date on the SENSE web site, write your letters to the councillors, keep the pressure up.

With thanks.

www.sense4csp.org.uk

Edited by SENSE - 22 January 2010 at 2:57pm
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 January 2010 at 10:51am
Due to the pressure they are under, CDC have made some changes to their proposals, but the numbers and density are still completely inappropriate. 
 
However, they do say they plan further consultation in February - although I'm not sure why, since they have made their decision already!  Well the reason is that Councils have to be able demonstrate that they have consulted with and taken into consideration the feelings and needs of local people.  So that's alright then?  Make the decision, then consult, and so we pass the test.  I don't think so.
 
SENSE have a short online survey about CDC's consultation to try to find if people in CSP feel consulted by Chiltern District Council.
Worth a couple of minutes.
 
That's the answer - what's the question?
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 January 2010 at 12:04pm
Snap Poll.
Yes thanks number 42, please everyone fill out the questionnaire, it's very important as CDC are still trying to shirk responsibility.

Consultation.
The DCS consultation was announced at the meeting, but apparently this has not been agreed yet, we will push for this and have sent letters to John Warder anticipating their commitment. If anyone feels inclined to do the same, I'm sure it would help.

As we all know by now, this consultation is still a hollow gesture with which they will attempt to persuade the inspectorate that they have given the public every chance to have their say. CDC will undoubtedly send out a sham of a questionnaire with very closed questions that will make it impossible for anyone to object to the numbers and densities. We will have to tackle that obstacle when it comes. We will probably supply an alternative SENSE questionnaire for download which everyone can supply with the CDC questionnaire to fill in the gaps.

What the consultation does mean is that the DCS will be delayed for that period and any delay is good.

English Heritage inspection
We are still awaiting news from English Heritage re. their inspection of the Grange Manor, this also contributes to the DCS' delay.

Last night's minutes meeting
It seems that news got through to everyone about the cancelled meeting last night, very few people turned up I'm glad to say, so it's good to know that our villagers are networking and keeping up to date with the website.

PPS3 (planning policy statement 3)
SENSE have been scrutinising the government's PPS3 document on which the DCS is based. Carol Castle has been using it as her bible. It is our Labour governments' way of making an enforced standard local plan format, effectively bringing labour voters into Tory strongholds, I quote: "The Government’s key housing policy goal is to ensure that everyone has the opportunity of living in a decent home, which they can afford, in a community where they want to live."

The whole document, carefully enshrined in planning terminology and figures, means nothing unless you take the time to study it in depth. It amounts to the typical below the belt disrespectful, gerrymandering policies that we have come to expect from this government, it is a very frightening piece of social engineering and should be dismantled at the first possible opportunity.

However it does state that housing densities should be calculated with the surrounding densities in mind and a 30 dwellings per hectare(dph) density can be used as a default. Carol Castle has used 30dph as the minimum throughout CSP in order to her the effort of finding other sites.

Our Parish Council have managed to arrange a public meeting with Cheryl Gillan, MP for Chesham, Amersham and Chalfont St Peter when they will also announce the findings of the survey. It is very important to make known to Cheryl Gillan the urgent need to amend the PPS3 document as soon as possible to prevent the widespread ruination of our rural towns and villages. Please see the following addition for further information.

www.sense4csp.org.uk

Edited by SENSE - 28 January 2010 at 10:51pm
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 January 2010 at 12:05pm
IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT

Chalfont St Peter Parish Council announces a Public Meeting to present the results of the Village Survey and discuss the proposed developments affecting the whole of Chalfont St Peter.

Cheryl Gillan MP for Chesham, Amersham and Chalfont St Peter will be present to see the results of the Survey and hear the views of villagers.

Date : 13th February 2010
Time : 10.30am
Venue : Chalfonts Community College Narcot Lane, CSP SL9 8TP

http://www.chalfonts.org/
                                                                   
PLEASE NOTE : NO PARKING IN PINETREE CLOSE

Edited by SENSE - 28 January 2010 at 6:11pm
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 February 2010 at 12:10pm
I think we can all pat ourselves on the back, our action have been having some amazing results.

• To have made sure people are aware of the threats and issues
• To have consulted residents and taken note of opinions and used them to steer actions
• To have strongly influenced the decision makers and influencers such as Cheryl Gillan and Councillors both local and from other wards
• To have pursued (and still pursuing) all possible options especially school land site swap
• To have investigated and contacted ALL interested groups/parties (English Heritage, Sport England, The Sisters who taught at the Holy Cross, The Victorian Society, Thames Water, Natural England etc) to bring pressure to bear
• To have got the numbers reduced (not enough, yet)
• To have forced CDC into public consultation (that was never part of their plan)

Our latest coup is having our MP officially committed to oppose the Draft Core Strategy, she has released a statement as follows:

2nd February 2010

Statement from Cheryl Gillan MP

Following meetings with the District Council and others and after submitting all the representations from constituents, a new document is now available on the draft Core Strategy on the Chiltern District Council website.   (www.chiltern.gov.uk). I have confirmed that a full consultation on this important issue will take place and you will have the opportunity of commenting when the consultation begins. I do not have a date for the start of the consultation yet, but will let you know when I have this information.

I am determined that together we will ensure that Chalfont St Peter is not over developed and more importantly that you as residents are included in and fully consulted on all the proposals.

Several years ago we faced similar overdevelopment which we successful abated and because I feel so strongly that the nature of our villages must be protected on that occasion I even gave evidence myself to the Public Enquiry.

An enormous number of people have registered their objections with me and all of these have been passed to CDC. This early feed back from residents has shaped the new proposed document on which CDC intend to consult which shows that they are listening to residents’ views.

I believe a meeting will be held shortly, which I am proposing to attend, called by the Parish Council. I shall look forward to listening to views in person. Please forgive this impersonal response, but it is the easiest and quickest way to reply to such a large number of representations.

Once again, thank you so much for taking an active interest in our community; this is what makes us so very special in the Chilterns.


Yours sincerely



Cheryl Gillan

CDC must realise now that will have to actually do their jobs and plan our towns correctly with the long term future in mind. The alternative is quite simple, their political futures will cease. Take heart Chalfont St Peter, the people do have power.

Our next big priority is to stop CDC from releasing the educational status that protects the Grange/Holy Cross from residential development, once it becomes residential, the value soars and we will no longer be able consider it a possibility for our school. CDC have no right to release it from it's educational status because the dire need for schooling in the area prohibits it by law. They will argue that the Convent has been closed for a couple of years and is no longer educational, but it was only closed in order to be sold off for development land, that has become clear. The owners of the site are trying to abuse our planning laws and Chiltern District Council are egging them on. This is an unacceptable breach of our laws by the people who we are supposed to trust, laws that have been put in place to protect our futures and children's futures. Please appeal to our Councillors to abide by the law and retain the educational status on the Grange.
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