Throughout the first stage of ‘consultation’ on council’s structure planning residents made it absolutely clear that vision statements which included terminology such as ‘vibrant’ and ‘village feel’ were way off the mark and totally inappropriate for neighbourhoods that had already been ruined by over development. Thus it is important to compare the May version of council’s plans with the current July version and to see exactly how much has changed and to what extent council has listened to its residents.

Several things need noting:

  • Housing/population (ie development) barely gets a look in. Where it was mentioned in the May version, it has now been removed and substituted with that wonderful innocuous phrase of ‘urban character’ that is capable of hiding a multitude of sins!
  • ‘vibrant’ still exists but is now concentrated on ‘cafe life’. Sadly ‘village feel’ remains
  • There’s plenty of emphases on ‘green’ and ‘safe’

Basically, spin remains spin – it is just fancied up a little more and designed to be less threatening. How on earth these statements are meant to enforce community views is totally beyond us – especially when the size of all activity centres have probably doubled paving the way for more and more development! That of course is never clearly stated anywhere in any document – nor explained.

Compare and contrast –