We have good news. At Cabinet on Thursday the Cabinet agreed to create a business case to review the Local Plan. An immediate consequence of this is that all work on the Shapley Heath Project will be paused. We should view this as minor victory as it is almost certain they will retain Shapley Heath as an option in the Local Plan review.
The announcement was confirmed on Facebook by the Council’s official account:
James Radley Announcement
It is clear that the announcement caused them some distress because Councillor Radley’s statement was virtually unintelligible. It included the words:
We should look to generate a business case for the cost benefit analysis of starting to commence the preparation for the next local plan review. A new settlement can continue to be investigated along with other options such as urban intensification as part of the LP.
Shapley Heath Paused: Campaign Impact
It is always difficult to know exactly what impact our campaign has on the Council. However, we will claim some credit for this outbreak of common sense.
We called for a review of the Local Plan back in January. It’s taken 8 months, but finally they have taken some notice.
We have of course highlighted the level of spending on Shapley Heath on many occasions recently.
- First at the same Council meeting linked to above, then in our letter to all councillors in February.
- Then we highlighted how the grant money they received has been squandered on PR and not on proper planning studies.
- We have highlighted the shambolic budgeting and financial controls here and here.
- The campaign also highlighted the word salad contract specifications being issued to contractors.
- And not to forget the refusal of the Audit Committee to request an Internal Audit of the spending.
- Finally, we highlighted the absurdity of continuing Shapley Heath as they presided over widening deficits.