Ros Coward: The government’s relentless push for development is destroying rural England. The government’s infrastructure policies are an even more blatant assault on local democracy. They are truly a wrecking ball to the countryside. Alongside HS2, think Minsmere, the RSPB’s jewel in the crown, threatened by Sizewell C, or the proposal for a million houses on “the Oxford-Cambridge arc”, most of which would be on green belt. And let’s not forget Guston lorry park, dumped on the unsuspecting residents of Dover. Local opposition is virtually irrelevant at Planning Inspectorate inquiries into these developments. I know this first-hand having attended one such inquiry where local experts were openly mocked by some of the developers present. It felt like a sham of democracy.
Guardian 17th Feb 2021 read more »