Letters: Stuart Hall, April 4, 2015

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In reply to Alistair Beales (Letters, March 24) I must say for the record he has indeed always been polite and courteous to both LARA and myself and has indeed found time to

meet us on two occasions.

West Norfolk Council (WNC)has also indeed dropped Lynnsport 2. Although it would seem that the gulf between people and council continues to widen over their determination of developing a public park and open space, which by WNC’s own admission is at a premium, is a totally different matter.

In the case of Lynnsport Park they are in effect landowners, developers and the body giving planning permission.

Private developers would never enjoy such a monopoly of the process.

So indeed due procedure is followed and we can chip away at the edges, but have little effect on plans if they don’t want us to. They can argue the opposite but this is our considered opinion based on this experience.

Indeed as mentioned the so-called ‘hideous sprawls’, yes, that is exactly what we fear. So this is one example of how the consultations have failed, convincing very few. The consultations did do one thing. They started the campaign, not exactly supporting the claims of community engagement. The idea that they have actually sold this development to the people is a nice dream. It seems the word ‘no’ to the development is a very complicated and hard word for the council leadership to understand. But our requests for a full referendum, new consultations have been greeted with a simple no. We understand what this means, but then we also ask why not, what is the rush?

Therefore its not only the development of a public park that people find so hard to accept. It’s also this top down imposition of the Conservative leadership views that people find so offensive. The reality is that the 2,500 people who have actually signed the petition or supported the Facebook page do so not because they are happy, but because they are very unhappy. They don’t feel content with both answers and actions. WNC keep repeating that three detailed consultations were held to answer questions, so why do we still have such increasing opposition if the consultations were so forthcoming. At no point in this process has it ever looked like they were ever going to stop the development, it just gets voted through by a Conservative majority. Even in these simple terms the consultations have failed to convince the majority.

It is especially irksome that it is public money being used to develop public land that the public doesn’t want.

Lynnsport Park is not replaceable. It is landlocked by housing estates, so it can’t and will never be replaced.

People need to consider very carefully who deserves their X. The Lynnsport development is a test case for building on public land, once this is through no public park or football field will be safe.

Please consider signing the 38 Degrees petition so that a fair public inquiry can be held.

It’s not just the development of Lynnsport Park you are challenging. It’s every public open space in West Norfolk.

There are many other community groups waking up to this tide of infilling every space.

Perhaps it is time for an alliance of community groups to fight and stand together?

We will fight this right through the election and beyond.

Stuart Hall,

chair LARA