Ode to the Neighbourhood Plan


Neighbourhood

Nine years ago a plan was launched and Government agreed.

It ratified development for all our future needs.

But Mr Pickles couldn’t wait in his very early days

to set a new agenda for Wilson and for Hase.

By 2012 the plan was dead and we were set adrift:

The Council had to start again, put in an extra shift.

The Pickles Plan was meant to be a way to let us choose

to stop the rogue developer and keep the green we’d lose.

The Planners took the paperwork and set to work again –

“don’t worry folks, we’ve loads of time, you’ve got the perfect men

to build a Local Plan to last which carries all your views.

We’ll run a Consultation which no-one can abuse”

And Lewis watched with some relief – these Planners are the best!

He’d pass the Plan his Planners built and pass the Pickles Test.

The builders smiled and went to work; their passions highly fired

for while the new one was being built the old one had expired!

Meanwhile back in Ashbourne the Consultation started –

Where to build (and what to build) with nothing left uncharted.

How much to build was never left for Ashbourne to debate.

Those clever Planners did the maths and laid it on a plate.

They’d had the time to read the Bill so no mistakes were made.

All we could do was read the ‘pack’ and posters they displayed.

Although it seemed to simple folk the Airfield would be best

it seems the clever Planners felt that fields fulfilled the quest.

And meanwhile builders carried on ignoring all the din;

they carried on regardless getting Applications in.

They knew the Plan was obsolete and all the numbers duff

while Planners thought they had it right it wasn’t right enough.

Tho’ Willow Meadow was declined the builders just appealed.

The Council lost the Hearing so that Ashbourne’s fate was sealed.

Then Applications came in thick and fast as Planners stayed unmoved.

Their Local Plan would stop the rot “assuming its approved”.

Old Derby Road took centre stage and also faced rejection

while Mr Holland came to town to start his Plan Inspection.

The lessons seemed to be unlearned with not enough provision.

He didn’t like the work to date and left a big decision.

Despite the months of time they’d had the Planning ship had sailed

and all the people looking on could see the Plan had failed.

Which means that poor old Ashbourne was left against its foes.

The District was defenceless and poor old Lewis Rose

has blamed his boss in Whitehall for the dreadful situation –

but not the woeful Planners for the plan’s elimination.

It’s safe to say that they won’t see the pastures turned to roads,

the population increase and the service overloads.

We’ve got one final, slender, chance to turn the ship around;

to build a Plan for Ashbourne as Neighbours on our ground.

On the 15th of October we still can put it right.

They need our full attention so be there on the night!

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About justaukcook

/kʊk/ Not a chef, not an epicure, not a foodie. Just one who likes to prepare food – What really happens in the kitchen and on the high street is what I write about. Follow me on Twitter @Justaukcook and on https://www.facebook.com/justaukcook
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