We noted an interesting post from Ian Cowan yesterday, in which he appeared to suggest Consultation Responses and Petitions should be ignored by the Council, however many people were involved. He put forward the proposition that planning issues should be decided on the merits of the relevant arguments.
It should be stated the Kirton and Trimley Land Grab Campaign wholly agrees with him about dealing in facts. Indeed, our whole campaign is founded on the FACTS surrounding the urbanisation of the Trimley villages and the FACTS concerning the need to provide more development land to the Port of Felixstowe. That won't change and, over the coming months, we will be doing a great deal more to challenge the Lichfields 'evidence base' and commission professional expertise to help us do so.
This said, it takes considerable strength of feeling to generate several hundred objection letters and 978 petition signatures, all within a 36-hour period; historically, the British public are slow to anger and such a demonstration of feeling only tends to become apparent when people know, instinctively, something is wrong and the FACTS are either absent from a proper analysis or are being ignored because of an alternative agenda.
Now it is, of course, possible for a Council to press on regardless, but they would be unwise to do so in the face of such hostility to their plans. Ultimately, the SCDC Local Plan will come before Councillors for approval and we would be the first to acknowledge there is no way each Councillor can each be expected to wade through tens of thousands of words, diagrams and general gobbledegook, before they vote. However, we maintain things are different if they have been made fully aware of the FACTS about a particular local issue. Where that is the case, we consider they have a moral duty to support any Community, even it is not their own, which expresses it's rejection of a proposal, for good reasons. In the coming months, we will ensure Councillors are regularly supplied with the FACTS and we will be suggesting, also, several questions they should be asking the Council.
As to the level of Community support, there are in excess of 1000 Trinity College Petitioners, several hundred consultation responses and a 978 Petition. Additionally, a Facebook post I placed yesterday morning has reached 3,412 people already. So, people are watching!
Sorry to disagree, Ian, but numbers do matter. We can, and will, get these unsupportable proposals removed from the Local Plan, even if we have to arrange for people to attend the Draft 2 Plan approval meeting (3rd January, 2019) en masse, to make their feelings clear.