LETTER: Let’s not regret boxing ourselves into a corner

Your letters
Your letters

I entirely support Mr Turk’s concern expressed in these pages this week.

If Newick votes in favour of the Newick Neighbourhood Plan, that will constitute instant agreement to Newick having a minimum of 100 new homes in the village. The four sites selected must then be supported for building as soon as the owners wish to come forward.

In addition, and very importantly, the Newick Plan has taken no account at all of which sites would need street lighting and/or roundabouts.

If we endorse the sites at referendum on February 26 we will effectively have lost the right to object to any of the selected sites as they come forward for

development if it subsequently transpires that otherwise unacceptable levels of street lighting or roundabouts are deemed necessary. Only this week, the Highways Department has lodged objections to the first of the Plan’s selected sites which has already applied for planning permission (31 more houses at Cricketfield). Their objection is on the grounds of “increased

traffic hazards” and “inadequate visibility”. On the other hand, the Highways Department have confirmed that they see no need for street lighting or roundabouts in relation to the unselected Mitchelswood site. If the residents of Newick endorse the village Plan at referendum on 26 February, Newick is in danger of shooting itself in the foot by a) formally accepting a minimum of 100 new houses, in circumstances where almost all other villages have agreed to nothing and b) choosing sites ahead of knowing which ones would require street lighting, roundabouts or indeed other measures.Let’s not regret boxing ourselves into a corner so early in this national planning process. Let’s keep our options open for Newick by voting No on February 26.

Mel Goddard

By email