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Who will stand up for us?

PUBLISHED: 10:01 08 January 2010 | UPDATED: 15:50 06 July 2010

IN last weeks Lowestoft Journal it was reported that developers have for the fourth time submitted fresh plans for 14 houses at Four Acres in Rushmere Road, Carlton Colville.

IN last weeks Lowestoft Journal it was reported that developers have for the fourth time submitted fresh plans for 14 houses at Four Acres in Rushmere Road, Carlton Colville.

As reported, this is despite it having strong local opposition and being rejected a number of times previously, including most recently by a government appointed inspector, primarily on flooding and road safety grounds.

My concern, putting aside the strong and continuing arguments for not building what is effectively a small estate on this particular site due to flooding, traffic, safety and environmental concerns, is this: Who is there to protect us as local residents (anywhere in Waveney - because this case could easily be repeated at other non-designated sites) from committed landowners, financially strong developers and other interested parties from building where they wish?

What is the point of having approved Local Development Plans that specifically exclude sites (this one included) and having multiple rejections of a site if developers feel they can wear down the opposition by repeat applications?

Who will stand up for us in a system that appears to support the strong against the weak, where developers and their agencies have months to instigate, pay for and approve research that supports their case whilst local residents who have no backing and no single voice have just 21 days - up to 12 January in this case to submit our views (over the Christmas period where access to officials and other parties is limited) to respond to long and complex documentation?

I can only hope that officials, elected representatives and local people involved in this case will not be intimidated or worn down by this repeat application and that officials and councillors use their formal and discretionary powers robustly.

If allowed to go through this sends a clear signal and sets a precedent that persistence, influence and financial might will overcome legitimate concerns of officials and councillors as well as local opposition regardless of how just their cause and real their fears.

J ROGERS

The Street

Carlton Colville

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