Dear Fellow-resident of Martley,
Do you still find it hard to believe that our fine Nubbins Escarpment will soon be virtually invisible, hidden by a housing estate, at least when looked at from the village centre?
Prepare yourself for even worse!
At April’s Parish Council meeting District Councillor Mrs. Barbara Williams reported bad news. District plans to put many of the additional new houses now required by the Government Planning Inspector in Categories 1, 2 and 3 Villages (Martley is a Category 1 Village, the top category). As before, the District propose to put these additional houses close to village centres, for reasons of “sustainability”!
This means that the face of the Nubbins Escarpment could soon be hidden – for ever! – not only from the Crown car park but also from most of Kingswood Lane and the footpath network. A further housing-estate could appear on the land beyond The Smithy on the Worcester Road.
If District had followed Government policy on rural housing valid since 2004 (!!), suitable housing sites could have come forward from any of the parishes that look to Martley’s schools and other facilities. District chose instead to destroy a part of our heritage, a fine landscape, a prime geological feature, a tourist attraction and best quality farmland – all for the sake, they said, of saving some car journeys.
If District had followed Government policy valid since July 2007 on preparing data sheets on potential building land sites, Martley and all Parish Councils would have been involved as partners around the same discussion and decision table as District planners and developers. Instead we were merely consultees, whose justified criticisms and suggestions could be (and were) ignored.
District are again treating us in exactly the same way as before. I personally am trying, at this late stage, to prevent this and to obtain for our Parish Council its proper say in how Martley will develop.
If you wish to do the same but lack the proof that the District is ignoring Government policy and common-sense, please feel free to contact me on (01886) 888739 or by email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Martin O’Brien 6 May 2014