Formby Labour Councillors fight to ensure that views of resident

Formby Labour Councillors Nina Killen, Peter Maguire and Catie Page with MP Bill Esterson at the site where developers want to build on Formby's greenbelt.

 

Formby's three Labour Councillors said they will fight to ensure that the views of residents are heard and taken into account before any future development plans that affect the town are considered by the council.

Speaking after last Thursday evening's full council meeting in Southport, Cllrs Nina Killen, Catie Page and Peter Maguire, said it was more crucial than ever that local views were heard.

Cllr Killen said: "We welcomed the Formby campaign group speaking at last Thursday's council meeting and and their very powerful demonstration outside. They left everyone in no doubt of their passion when it comes to this issue. We share that passion and we can assure all the campaigners that we are making sure their views are heard.

"Formby residents are understandably concerned about possible green belt development in the town. Issues raised with us include: Our green belt acts as a natural flood defence; development will increase traffic congestion; our schools are full; and some of our green belt is high-quality farmland which we should preserve as we already import food.

"Residents also fear any development will not benefit them or their families. There is a shortage of affordable housing to buy in Formby, yet the developers will want to build homes costing in the region of £300,000-plus. This is out of reach for most families.

"If there is going to be development in Formby, we want it to be proportionate, appropriate and of benefit to the people already living here. We want young people from Formby to be able to buy their first home here if they wish to do so.

"We also want to listen to residents and give them a voice within Sefton Council, with the Planning Committee who will make the initial decision as to whether these developments go ahead.

"That is absolutely crucial. The people of Formby must be involved in deciding how their community evolves. That's what we are determined to ensure happens."
 
MP Bill Esterson has referred to Formby's fight in Parliament to highlight the dangers of the government's recent planning changes which he said "gives developers the greenlight to build on our greenbelt".
 
Bill said: "The Tory-Lib Dem Government in Parliament voted for new planning rules which allow development on green belt and allow local communities to be ignored. Those same new rules mean developers don’t have to build affordable housing as part of any development and mean the government may take over planning decisions to help its developer friends. 
 
"This means the decisions could be taken out of the hands of Sefton Council if developers appeal decisions based on government guidelines.

 "The Tories and Lib Dems in Government are keen to see development to boost economic growth. This is because their economic policies have failed, but people in Formby should not have to pay the price for the government's failure. 
 
"It will not be easy to stop developers especially now the government has made it easier for them. However, the Labour Party in Formby will make sure residents' views are heard by Sefton Council officers, by planning committee, and also the developers. 
 
"In Parliament I will continue to ensure government ministers are aware of the great strength of feeling among the people of Formby."


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