Chris Botten on Hambledon Park Open Space
It is great news that the Hambledon Park Open Space, together with two other sites in the Valley, will not be offered as available land by TDC.
However, I proposed that tonight's paper was withdrawn because the council did not do a proper site assessment. Its approach left, I argued, the sites vulnerable because the process is flawed. The committee refused to accept that the paper was flawed so that short term success on three sites could be secured. Fair enough. But a battle has been won at the expense of important territory.
Now the sites will not be offered but without a site assessment are vulnerable to a challenge both from developers and the Planning Inspector.
Therefore the news is good for now.
We will now need to use other means to protect them in the long term. Because the approach is still flawed.
I now, with colleagues, will need to develop a permanent solution.
That will be the next step.
The local plan process is the problem. There may be Pyrrhic victories along the way, but the administration needs to see the issue for what it really is: a flawed process.