Cllr Maria Bennett urges Formby residents to VOTE YES in tomorrows referendum
Cllr Maria Bennett urges Formby and Little Altcar residents to VOTE YES in tomorrows referendum. This is what she said:
"As you know the referendum is coming up next week and I am speaking out and supporting the neighbourhood plan and would suggest everyone in Formby supports it and votes YES or we will be left with Sefon's own Local Plan which does not protect Formby."
"This plan has consistently been attacked by our Local MP Bill Esterson and local labour Councillors and the claim made by them that the Neighbourhood Plan was unfit for purpose was manifestly untrue as if it were the case the inspector would have required a full public hearing. The plan was not rewritten. The government inspector requested some edits for greater clarity and other text relating to the flooding was moved into a separate appendix document which still forms part of the Neighbourhood Plan."
"Indeed the inspector came down on the side of Neighbourhood Plan after many objections from the Developers and Sefton Council wanting policies to be removed that they were not happy with. He stated "It is evident that a considerable amount of time and effort has been committed to the development and production of this Plan and I congratulate all those who have been involved. The Plan should prove to be a useful tool for future planning and change in Formby over the coming years."
"It is also untrue that over £30,000 has been spent by the FRAG Parish Council. Indeed since we took over in 2015 only £5,800 has been spent by the FRAG Parish Council in 4 years with any other monies spent coming from a central government pot of funding for neighbourhood plans. It would be irresponsible to have shelved the Neighbourhood Plan and forego this funding which the residents of Formby were entitled to in order that they could take back some control over development within their area and produce a neighbourhood plan."
There are many reasons that the residents of Formby should vote for this plan with the main 10 being as follows:-
1. It provides for better flood protection than the Local Plan by producing flood policies that directly address Formby's particular flooding and surface water flooding problems resulting from failing infra-structure and climate change. These include not raising the land significantly to build on, avoiding increased flood risk to the surrounding area, not to build in flood attenuation areas.
2. in terms of housing, the NP provides a much more sustainable growth path for Formby since it addresses the housing needs of local people and seeks to reverse the economic stagnation resulting from the current demographic trends. The housing mix in the Local plan is actually making this stagnation worse! This in turn is making local services education/health and transport unsustainable.
3. It seeks to make development more effective in meeting Formby's housing needs by better land use than currently allowed for in the Local Plan. It addresses Formby's lack of affordable homes by the provision of more affordable homes for young families as well enabling elderly people to "downsize". It addresses the design with no new building above 2.5 storey high.
4. the plan confines development to the urban footprint and within the development boundary, which means that growth is environmentally more sustainable, It protects the greenbelt, hedgerows, trees and green spaces and at the same time requires additional green spaces to be provide.
5. it seeks to promote sustainable travel by supporting the development of footpaths and cycle paths and also seeks to reduce anti-social parking requiring off road parking for all new developments with all new housing with 2 or more bedrooms providing at least 2 off road parking spaces.
6. It addresses the "Climate Change Emergency" by encouraging energy efficient homes, solar and wind power.
7. Unlike the Local Plan it respects Formby's particular character in terms of landscape and its socio-economic structure.
8. The NP is different from the Local Plan as it greatly improves the Local Plan by making it more effective in meeting the particular needs of Formby.
9. It gives Local People a chance to take back some control over the Development taking place in Formby and Little Altcar by providing them with a set of policy tools to make sure development meets local needs and addresses the issues of flooding and protection of the greenbelt and green spaces. It makes the planning process more transparent. The NP has 29 policies in place which benefit the residents which is far more than any other NP that has been produced in Sefton. It is not a wish list but a legal planning document that will have to be used when considering any development within Formby.
10. It recognises that the planning needs of Formby and Little Altcar cannot be met by a "one size fits all" which is what Sefton MBC suggest in their Local Plan which is a top down planning regime. Each area is different in its needs and requirements and the inspector agreed with us.
"I WOULD URGE ALL OUR RESIDENTS TO GO AND VOTE YES IN THIS REFERENDUM TO ENSURE THAT THEY HAVE THEIR OWN DEVELOPMENT PLAN THAT WILL HELP TO PROTECT FORMBY. THEY WILL NOT GET ANOTHER CHANCE TO TAKE BACK CONTROL. FAILING TO VOTE OR VOTING NO WOULD GIVE ALL CONTROL TO SEFTON COUNCIL."
Cllr Maria Bennett
Borough and Parish Councillor Ravenmeols Ward
Or you can view it at Formby Library.
If you are unsure about what the referendum is or want to know any more details, everything is explained on the Formby Bubble website by clicking HERE.