Conservatives Gain Control at Nuneaton and Bedworth – on Manifesto of Overturning Late Examination Borough Plan

Peter Oburn Daily Mail

Jonathan Collett is not well known nationally, but as chair of the Nuneaton Conservative Association, he was the mastermind behind one of the Tories’ biggest successes on Thursday.

In the Warwickshire town at the heart of middle England, he plotted the overthrow of Labour — with the Tories winning 11 out of the 17 wards up for grabs on the borough council.

He explained how the Conservative campaign had concentrated on local issues about which people care strongly such as unwanted new housing developments and putting forward more imaginative alternative proposals.

Manifesto

PUTTING OUR COMMUNITIES FIRST

Conservatives have always voted against unsustainable developments, including those
in St Nicolas, Weddington, Galley Common and The Woodlands.
We will:
 Immediately review Labour’s broken Borough Plan.
 Protect existing communities and deliver the roads, health and school services we need.
 Reduce the housing numbers based on new government guideline figures.
 Withdraw from Labour’s secret agreement to take Coventry’s overspill.
 Have a fair, open and transparent process for the Borough Plan so your views are clearly heard.
 Distribute housing more fairly around the Borough to enhance not destroy existing communities.
 Ensure our communities finally receive the much needed road improvements, schools, GPs, shops and essential facilities they deserve, especially in areas where Labour’s houses have already been built.
 Prioritise Brownfield sites first, protecting our existing communities by removing unsuitable and unsustainable sites from Labour’s broken Borough plan
Only the Conservatives are in a position to take control and
deliver change on Labour’s Broken Borough Plan.

However the Borough Plan is mid examination with initial findings due to be published this month.

As the inspectors findings are binding the only alternative to fulfill the manifesto would be to withdraw the local plan.  This would put the Council in special measures. The example of Northumberland suggests the SoS might not intervene where delay is due to change of political control however two complications.

Firstly the Duty to Cooperate  – if Nuneaton refuses to take Coventry overspill any decision to withdraw could be challenged by Coventry.  The act of withdrawl itself is likely to require SEA as it would have negative consequences on Coventry.  Secondly the example of Coventry suggests a withdrawl and re-submission will not mean a subsequent examination will mean a second inspector will find differently from the first.  Another Coventry on our hands a decade long marathon to get through a plan submission and examination.

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