Bradford Council accused of 'secrecy' over land use consultation (From Bradford Telegraph and Argus)
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Concern at how people can express their views
Bradford Council has been accused of breaking the “spirit” of open Government by only making comments on a district-wide consultation available in the city centre.
The authority received about 1,200 comments from people across the district after a consultation about the draft core strategy of the controversial Local Development Framework (LDF), which sets out a vision for housing and development until 2028.
The LDF, which is now being called the Local Plan by the Council, has caused some concern in many areas, with 45,500 new homes proposed to be built during a 15-year period.
But Councillor Anne Hawkesworth , a former leader of the Tory group, said she feels people’s responses to the draft core strategy LDF consultation should be made far more widely available and not just restricted to those who can get to Bradford City Hall.
“It is not adequate to tell groups such as the design group and the civic society in Ilkley that they can see them online if they go into planning reception,” said Coun Hawkesworth, who represents Ilkley.
“There they will have to hope a computer is free to work on. This is hardly within the spirit of open government and once more calls Bradford into question as a secretive Council.”
A senior Council officer confirmed it was the way people could view the comments.
Andrew Marshall, planning and transport strategy manager, said: “The Council received about 1,200 comments during the consultation. They have all been logged, including any on paper which were scanned in digitally, and people can view them electronically at our planning reception located in City Hall’s reception.”
The consultation on the first draft of the core strategy ended earlier this year, attracting responses from across the district.
The final draft of the core strategy document is expected to be released in November which will go to a further round of public consultation.
A final decision and central Government approval for that part of the plan is expected in the first half of next year.
Other key documents that will make up part of the Local Plan include the waste management and land allocations development plans.
For more information on the LDF, go to our Save Our Green Spaces section.
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