Interesting to read Councillor Rook’s column alongside a rather more impressive call for his resignation.
Councillor Pain deserves huge credit for his sacking over the Airfield Farm over-development issue, and he was quite right to call this “pandering to developer interests”.
Unfortunately for us all pandering to developers is rather a good description of new Government planning policies, the new planning minister is even trying to assure us that many of our landscapes will look better when built over.
Mr Rook gives the game away disgracefully when he says that his executive “is not the place for ward issues”.
Wards are where real people live. They may well care a lot about their environment and its future, and executive power clearly won’t be listening to them. So much for the myth of localism.
The horrible-sounding Glebe Road problem is an example of its current planning with developers. Now we have Airfield Farm over-development, representing, in Mr Rook’s words, “the tide of progress ... enshrined in national policy”, which he says local people are powerless to resist.
I don’t expect Mr Rook to resign, or probably listen. He did however claim credit, in the end, for listening to opposition after the Market Hall changes. A popular campaign of that magnitude and effectiveness is required again now.
It’s sadly easy to imagine the Rooks of the future uniting Harborough with Lubenham, and so on westwards, thus ruining piecemeal one of the best valley landscapes in the Midlands.
This will be more central “policy” we’ll be told we are powerless to resist.
I was brought up in that landscape, and I care about it very much.
Dr Stewart Eames