Story caused a stir

I WRITE to you as Oving parish clerk, with reference to the article entitled ‘Traffic fears raised as residents discuss plans for Shopwyke Lakes development’ (Observer, October 20).

As clerk, I have no opinion and always try to remain absolutely neutral when talking of parish issues: the quotes ‘The development looks great’ and ‘the idea of having housing on that site is brilliant’ were not my words, but referred to opinions gathered at the public exhibition, which also reflected very grave concerns about local infrastructure – schooling, traffic and sewage in particular.

This article has caused some upset in the parish, with some residents believing the parish council has made a positive decision about the proposed development before any proper consultation has taken place.

This is quite untrue; no planning application has been submitted from the developers and there will be plenty of time for residents’ views to be taken into consideration before any formal comment is made by the parish council.

At the moment, the parish council is at stage one of the process; the developers organised a public exhibition in Oving’s Jubilee Hall about their proposals.

At the same time the developers also arranged a small initial presentation for invited councillors with comments on issues of concern so far. Unfortunately, there was a misunderstanding in the parish, as the developers had originally suggested a public presentation and then decided to hold an exhibition instead. Despite my best efforts to re-inform parishioners, there were some people who arrived, expecting to see a presentation as part of an open parish council meeting.

I apologise for any misunderstanding. However, the next stage will be a public presentation from the developers, organised by the parish council. This is all prior to any planning application being submitted, following which there would be stage three: an open parish council meeting to discuss the application and make official comment to the planning authority.

I trust that this has helped to clear up any confusion in Oving parish.

Jennifer Linford,

Oving Parish Clerk