Keep It Green 2014

Newsletter 11

Knock-ons from Spawforths Drop In Session on 8 July 2014

In Newsletter 10 we reported that we were awaiting Spawforths’ response to a list of

questions. We have new received this and a copy is enclosed. Their responses to our

questions are in red and we have added further comment in blue.

In the very first question, they assert that the proposed visits are a response to your

requests. Our understanding of what transpired at the drop in session, is that such visits

were offered, which is a very different matter. What is your recollection? Was it just a tick

in a box?

Visit to the site by Mr Dan Jarvis, MP

Mr Jarvis was unable to accept the invitation to our second walk, but said he would like to

met the Group. That meeting took place on 17 September 2014, preceded by a tour of the

site to point out the issues. Here are the key points:

• Need to mobilise and motivate residents

• Establish a list of people who will assist in various ways, to spread the workload

• Work with local politicians, where they are prepared to show support

• Avoid activity that will leave the group open to accusations of Nimbyism

• Marshall arguments to support our case

• Consider ways to best communicate our ideas and concerns, especially noting the

pressure of the national agenda the Council has to respond to

• Recognise that this is going to be a difficult struggle

• Use the media where possible

• Establish a “coalition of the willing”, including specialists such as CPRE

• Find ways of encouraging residents to get involved. Templates, petitions, form

letters, etc will not work

• The opposition to the expected Local Plan content is likely to be expensive. Start

raising funds by holding social events, which have the advantage of maximising

communication and identifying who will help in the process

None of the above will be a surprise to you, but getting confirmation from Mr Jarvis, an

experienced campaigner, was useful.

Mr Jarvis stressed the importance of individual involvement in responding to the Local

Plan, which we touched on in Newsletter 10. As stated then and at the discussion after our

second walk, we will work hard to provide you with the tools for this job. We must stress

that the fight ahead could get expensive. You’ll need to think about how much you value

your Green Belt.

On the subject of resident involvement, we hear that Councillors in at least one ward have

arranged for a select few of their constituents to attend a meeting with planners, where

they will be briefed on the Local Plan process and how to respond. How this is intended to

be translated into informing all residents is a mystery at the moment. We are waiting to

hear back from BMBC on the matter and have also asked the Dodworth Ward Councillors

what they know and plan to do about it.

In a similar vein, we reported in the discussion after the second walk that we were worried

about the Council’s intentions after the Draft Local Plan Consultation ends. We had

assumed that the results would be made available, with analysis, as they had been for

earlier consultations. We have been told that they have no intention of releasing this

information before the release of the Formal version of the Local Plan next July. This has

been questioned and we await the Council’s response.

The reason this is important, is that the “heavy lifting” phase of the Local Plan Consultation

process will be done at the Formal version stage. Whilst the results of the Draft

consultation may be denied to residents, if they stick to their guns, you can be certain that

this information will be released to those proposing the development, so that they can

come up with counter-measures for any criticisms raised at the Draft stage. In this time

between the Draft and Formal consultations, we will also have to marshal our arguments

and, probably, engage specialist help, to reinforce our arguments. Without the feedback

from the Draft consultation, we will be flying blind, which is unfair to say the least.

We will report further on this when we have heard from the Council.

Finally, here is a link to a Council site called “Open Door”. Some of you will have seen

paper copies of the news articles on the site. In the latest edition (no. 25), there is a short

piece about the Local Plan, which you may like to read. It all sounds very reassuring, but

is not actually what we are expereincing so far.

IP 21.9.14

Keep It Green 2014

Response from Spawforths to list of questions about street-by-street consultation

Below is the list of questions put to Spawforths (as covered in earlier newsletters). Their

responses are in red (our highlights) and our comments thereon are in blue.

1. Is this part of the street-by-street approach, suggested at the drop in session?

At the event [the drop in session on 8 July 2014], members of the public requested a

meeting. I am in the process of coordinating this. This is a starting point with the hope of

future events and meetings subject to the site being allocated as part of the Councils Local


Is this statement correct? The impression we were left with after the drop in was that local

consultations were offered rather than requested. What can you remember about this?

2. What is the precise purpose of the “event”?

To understand in more detail what issues the residents have and to help inform the future

consultation process.

It should have been clear at the drop in – the proposals should be abandoned altogether.

3. Which streets are involved this time?

Due to data protection I cannot disclose peoples addresses, however, at this time we are

not covering streets just a handful of residents that requested a meeting.

This is fair enough, technically, assuming their answer to the first question is correct, so we

will have to rely on you telling us if/when you are approached.

4. How are you making sure all residents are aware?

Those involved have been contacted by phone. This is not a public exhibition, however, if

the site is successful future meetings and events will be held and people will be informed

via; flyer drop, posters in the local area, emails and press articles where appropriate.

“… if the site is successful”, cannot be gauged until the Local Plan has been approved by

the Government Inspector. It is up to us all to do our best to ensure that this does not

happen. The map enclosed shows what we assume will be the area they will canvass if

this does go ahead (see question 7).

5. Where and when will the “event” be held?

Yet to be determined.

We will have to rely on your feedback for this information.

6. Can anybody turn up?

Unfortunately not. This is with the residents that requested a meeting at the event.

There it is again. Have you requested a meeting, or are Spawforths following up a tick in

a box on a form you filled in at the drop in? We will assume that there will be no

prohibition of a neighbour attending at the invitation of the original contact, to maximise

dissemination of information.

7. Which streets will you be addressing next (ideally, do you have a roll-out

programme you could share with us?)?

A consultation strategy will be adopted if the allocation is successful as part of the Councils

Local Plan, however, the likely area covered would be the same as before and is attached.

We suspect that this is quite a bit larger than their original flyer drop but will depend on the

outcome of the Local Plan, as noted.

IP 17.9.14

Keep It Green 2014

Suggested distribution map for Spawforths ‘PR’ campaign for the Local Plan


Based on Spawforths’ file PR DISTRIBUTION AREA.jpg included with their email 15.9.14

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