The last days of February saw both County and District Council put forward budgets for approval by Elected Members.
With 24% cuts coming down from central government, NWL District Council sees housing development as its best means of survival. The Budget before Elected Members shows how much the institution now relies on New Homes Bonus and Planning receipts.
The Government agenda, like it or not, is to devolve 'power' to your local Council. Your Councils will be funded by their own locally collected Business Rates and Council Tax as Government grants, currently funded from national taxation, are phased out.
This makes it all the more important for NWLDC to get the planned houses built.
Members heard, at the joint LCC and NWLDC Highways Forum in February, big developments, such as the 4500 houses planned for Grange Road are delayed due to the lack of infrastructure. There is not (yet) enough money to fund a link road from the estate to Bardon Road.
NWLDC are now fighting a Government decision to overturn their refusal to grant permission for 180 houses on green fields next to the Charnwood Forest at Greenhill. This expensive legal challenge is not being taken up on a whim. The Planning Inspector's decision in favour of the Gladman development is based on his opinion that NWLDC are not building enough houses to 2031 and lack a 5 year supply of developable land.
If this decision stands, it drives a coach and horses through the NWLDC Local Plan. This, as yet unfinished document, is all that stands between the green spaces we cherish and a National Planning Policy Framework that currently presumes all development should be approved.
If your Council fails to fight the Gladman case, residents may find the Local Plan you all worked so hard to influence isn't worth the paper it is written on.