Herewith a copy of the letter I sent to Parish Councils earlier today
Dear Sirs and Madam,
The Kirton and Trimley Community Action Group has become aware:
1 Trinity College, via the Trimley Estate, has employed a PR company, MPC, to smooth the way ahead of a planning application to develop Innocence Farm.
2 Stakeholders (not ourselves!) and other interested parties have been invited to a meeting on 27th November, 2018 to discuss the issues that would affect any application
3 A further meeting has been proposed on 20th November, 2018 between representatives of MPC / the Trimley Estate and representatives of the Parish Council only
Our initial reaction was to view this as a PR opportunity and there would be little harm in Parish Council representatives attending the meeting, if only to understand where the representatives of Trinity College are coming from. Our Steering Group has now had an opportunity to reflect on this and think attendance at either meeting by yourselves would fly in the face of your publicly stated position and would be spun in such a way as to suggest you may have changed your position. Accordingly, we would urge you to submit a joint response along the following lines:
* Our Parish Council has noted the involvement of MPC as representatives of the Trimley Estate e.g. Trinity College, Cambridge – the landowners
* By way of a response to the 1st consultation of the Suffolk Coastal District Council Local Plan, we have made our position clear we see no need for additional ‘employment’ land and, even if a need was established, the choice of Innocence Farm is perverse when proper consideration is given to alternative options
* We have considered the appropriateness of discussing how Innocence Farm could be developed whilst the issue of whether or not it should be developed remains under consideration as part of the Local Plan approval process. In this context, we are aware there remain three possible stages of the approval process that may need to take place before any such discussion could properly take place.
* We have to consider, also, the views of the communities we represent, who are opposed to this development in demonstrably large numbers. We do not think we would be acting properly on their behalf (or endear ourselves to them!) if we were to accept your invitation
* Also, we would urge Trimley Estates to consider the moral rectitude of attempting to apply pressure to the Council’s planning process. If they do, they risk painting themselves in an extremely poor light and one that we imagine will be exposed to a wider scrutiny
* It follows, we have now had an opportunity to reflect on our initial response and consider it inappropriate to accept MPC’s invitation to either meeting
Very best wishes