We finally know from the horse’s mouth that our long (and some would say deliberately) delayed Haywards Heath Neighbourhood Plan is to be put to the townspeople in the form of a referendum on the 1st December 2016.
Is this the last one to see the light of day in the whole UK? Since the Haywards Heath Town Council first went public with their firmed up draft proposals seeking the public’s co-operation a period of well over a year has elapsed during which the most controversial, ill-advised and historically unsuitable speculative developments have been slipped through already by the planning committees with not a moments consideration for the concerns of local objectors, numbering many thousands, either by letter, e-mail or petition to the planning department, no matter how constructively or honestly made. Nine locations alone have been imposed on our once southern wet slopes of Haywards Heath.
Some sites even figured within the draft plan from the outset, and others only await the public’s approval of the NP to cause even greater distress to long standing residents nearby whose lives will be changed forever.
Perhaps the Town Hall can tell us how they propose to conduct this referendum fairly. Will all tax paying households receive a document for completion and return, or only a chosen minority canvassed in the Orchards or Dolphins Centre over a weekend. The danger of course is that the general apathy raging in our town of how we have been callously ignored may not bring an opportunity to democratically express our views once more since they are never given any weight as all we hear from our Councillors is “It is not our fault-the Government told us to do it”. See “Democracy has died as 130 homes agreed” in Middy page 2 of this week (October 20).
How can we trust our councillors to acknowledge our concerns, give ALL an opportunity to vote, and report quickly back to us thereafter, giving the detailed results, preferably identifying the various postal code contributions, and numbers canvassed in relation to our known local population. I am informed that the last time this was attempted a final decision was taken by council based on no more than 2-3 per cent of those eligible to vote. If that be so again-how can we take any of this seriously?
One always hopes for fair play but if this is not transparently exercised by our councillors the referendum will be a further complete waste of tax payers time and money.
Fox Hill Village, Haywards Heath
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