SA13 – Developers preparing for application

Developers Thakeham Homes & Persimmon brand Charles Church have posted a leaflet to local residents announcing their information website www.keymerroad.co.uk and public exhibition.  The fact that they were delivered by post yesterday with the consultation ready prepared suggests to us that they knew the vote last Wednesday was a foregone conclusion. So much for local democracy.
 
“Consultations” such as this are very much a cosmetic box ticking exercise for developers and the question for SOFLAG is whether to engage. We are in many ways damned if we do and damned if we don’t. Engaging allows the developer to say “we have talked to local residents and taken on board their feelings” (which they can say while completely ignoring any protests or issues raised). Not engaging allows them to say that we must therefore be happy with the proposal.
 
Our position remains that we cannot support development at this sensitive site as it will cause lasting and irreversible damage to the wildlife and rewilded ecosystem. We believe that no development can achieve the required biodiversity net gain of 10% and no mitigation can make up for the destruction caused to this unique and special place.
 
We will be looking in detail at the plans when the developers’ consultation website goes live, and responding in due course when we have considered them. We will not be attending the exhibition on 14 July.
 
We know of course that some of our supporters will prefer to view the plans in person rather than online. If you attend the exhibition, we urge you not to complete any surveys or questionnaires in a way that could be interpreted as giving support to the plans. The developers control what happens to any feedback received and will interpret the results to suit their agenda – even if it means all they say is a positive sounding “we welcomed xxx number of residents to our event and listened to their views”
 
Next week we also will be getting legal advice on the prospects for a judicial review of the Council’s Site Allocations DPD process. We know the process was flawed, but we need to find out if we have a realistic chance of proving this in court. If it looks like we have a good chance of success (and only if we have a good chance) we may then need to appeal for donations in a quick time as the window for judicial review is brief. If you have any thoughts on this, please let us know – info@soflag.co.uk
 
In the meantime, thanks again to all our supporters for everything you have done over the last couple of weeks.

Please keep us posted if you see anything happening at SA12 or SA13.

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