At a recent meeting with a planning expert, the Planning Manager of CPRE Hertfordshire, we discussed the current Levelling-Up and Regeneration Bill. It was felt that this could help our cause as it gives more power to local communities with ‘street votes’ and encourages residents to play a more active role in shaping the design of new development in their area, whilst balancing the aspirations of Local Authorities. This may be “closing the stable door” but with the possibility of a Local Plan review on the horizon we may yet be able to continue the fight to save Forster Country.

Anne Henshaw, CPRE Wiltshire chair, has broadly welcomed this bill, but has warned that the government must strike a delicate balancing act between reacting to short-term emergencies such as rising prices and longer-term goals such as protecting the environment. We are reviewing the reaction of other areas in the UK.

At the same meeting it became clear that the outline planning application for dwellings on Forster Country has not yet received the final go-ahead from the SBC Planning Department, this being a formal process which follows on from the decision by the SBC Planning Committee. A delay might allow the provisions of LURB to be taken into account

John Spiers