Woburn Sands & District Society | 08 January 2008

Latest News

14/09/2008 - Update on the Draft South East Plan and the Changes the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government wants to make following Consultation, which ends on the 24th October 2008

On the 17th July the Secretary of State published three documents, including her proposed changes to the Draft South East Regional Spatial Strategy (RSS), following the Panel Report, which followed the Examination in Public of the Draft Plan. Of the two documents produced on line for consultation, the S of S changes document was unfortunately in a format that made it impossible to download, or indeed read on line, using the Limehouse Portal. It has to be wondered if this was a deliberate strategy, or if the Government Office of the South East were more interested in ease of compilation of consultation responses, and less on ease of access to those wishing to participate in the consultation. In either scenario, we consider this was a flawed process. However the Society requested and received hard copies of the three documents.

The Three Documents were:

1. Regional Spatial Strategy for the South East: Sustainability Appraisal and Habitats Regulations Assessment/Appropriate Assessment of the Secretary of State’s Proposed Changes – Non-Technical Summary by Scott Wilson, Levett-Therivel of the Sustainability Sustainability Assessment, Habitats Regulations Assessment and Appropriate Assessment of the Changes. The Draft South East RSS was subject to a Sustainability Assessment, submitted to the Govt with the draft RSS and what the consultants call a “so-called” Habitats Regulations Assessment (HRA) / Appropriate Assessment. (AA) of the proposed S of S changes. The report summarises the findings of firstly the SA (the main report can be found on the Government of the South East (GOSE) web site, and secondly the HRA/AA of the proposed changes. A summary of this report has been uploaded to the document and representation section of the WSDS web site, however readers are encouraged to download and read the full document which may be found at: http://gose.limehouse.co.uk/portal. It is not a huge file only about 40 pages. It is of note that the GOSE and S of S have totally ignored the RPS recommendation as part of the HRA of the East of England RSS that the combined impact of regional plans should be considered as part of the development of these plans, in particularly the SE RSS
2. The S of S’s Proposed Changes to the draft RSS for the South East of England – Schedule of Changes and Reasoned Justification. This a very large document consisting of a table of a) the S o S Proposed Change Number, b) the draft South East RSS Reference, c) Panels Recommendations, d) S of S proposed changes and e) the Reason for the S of S changes. A summary of the main issues both national and local identified from this tome has been uploaded to the document and representation of the WSDS web site. Of note is that following an examination of this tome, there are frequent deletions of sections of the draft SE RSS justified for reasons of shortening length, that appear to remove items critical of the governments past or present strategy/decision making or generally weaken anything that might obstruct the delivery of housing targets.
3. The third document provided by GOSE is what is called The S of S’s Proposed Changes to the draft Regional Spatial Strategy for the South East of England. Companion Document. This document appears to the South East RSS incorporating the S of S’s changes – i.e. the SE RSS – if all the changes the S of S proposes remain unchanged. This document is not for consultation and one wonders the purpose of its publication.

Following consideration of these documents that society will be making representation as part of the consultation process, and when this is finalised it will be uploaded to the Documents and Representations section of the WSDS web site.

News Keywords: Government proposed changes South East Plan

Areas Covered include: Woburn Sands, Aspley Guise, Aspley Heath, the Brickhills, Husborne Crawley, Salford, Wavendon and Woburn
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