North East Derbyshire Liberal Democrats spokesperson for Housing, Cllr David Hancock, has called the Conservative administration out on their ‘smoke and mirrors’ tactics over trying to hoodwink the residents of North East Derbyshire into believing that they had a sound evidence base to challenge the proposed local plan.
On 12th July the leader of NEDDC wrote the Planning Inspector asking her to withdraw all proposed sites from the Green Belt around Dronfield, Eckington and Killamarsh. In her response, Inspector Sarah Housden, wrote: “It is not clear from your letter what evidence would justify allocating fewer sites for housing. Your letter refers to sites KL1 and the remaining area of DR1 but there are other Green Belt deletions for housing in the submitted Plan.”
Cllr Hancock responded, “The Tories have spent years gambling on an argument they can’t evidence in order scam votes from the northern part of the District. Now the inspector has called their bluff and they risk delaying the Local Plan even further.
“Throughout this whole debacle, the Liberal Democrats have been clear. We need a local plan that delivers the housing requirement, by building away from existing settlements to ensure that essential infrastructure is provided at the outset. We proposed such a plan – that would ensure N-E Derbyshire’s requirements were met.”
N-E Derbyshire Lib Dem Group Leader, and parliamentary spokesperson, Ross Shipman agreed: “We’ve had years of lip service from the Tories. The Tories have used smoke and mirror tactics. The N-E Derbyshire Tories have been, while trying to push all development into the south of the District while trying to convince the north that they won’t be affected by providing them with unevidenced calculations. Meanwhile their MP, Lee Rowley, gives lip-service to the ongoing problems overdevelopment is having on the A61, while doing precisely nothing about it. The Tories are nothing more than side show magicians and now they’ve been caught out with nowhere to go and nothing to fall back on.”