Planning - MP is spot on urging caution

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MP Sir Edward Leigh’s letter (27 August) calling for planning committees to act cautiously and take into account the views of residents and parish councillors is spot on. J

ust as with the Scottish Independence campaign, the EU debate and indeed the fall out from banking crisis this is a time when the Classical Athenian philosophy of Public Reasoning is returning to our public consciousness, engaging a popular culture that may or may not accord with or support vested interests.

There is a fallow period now between the abandonment of the Central Lincolnshire Core Strategy at the end of last year and introduction of the provisions of the Neighbourhood Planning Regulations.

These are costly and complicated, requiring external validation and a referendum for each Neighbourhood Plan. West Lindsey District Council officers are making an admirable effort to assist but there is a long and expensive way to go.

Many Parishes, with Osgodby amongst the leaders, have already produced good Parish Plans. It would be a boost for public confidence in local democracy if Planning Authorities could volunteer to commit to take full account of Parish Plans when discussing Planning Applications, whilst the statutory Neighbourhood Plans are being developed. It would nice to think that the spirit of Pericles is alive and well in Gainsborough and Lincoln.

Charles Kenyon

Beech House, Kingerby