Here – a quite extraordinary letter
Bromsgrove and Reddich should not have jointly produced evidence and consultation on their plans.
‘At some (unspecified) point in time’ Bromsgrove should have a Green Belt review but until then Bromsgrove should not meet any of Reddich’s need.
The letter does not advance any planning argue about why the tests for release of Green Belt are not met. It does not set out any alternative strategic locations or set out how the Bromsgrove Plan can be made sound.
The minister seems to interpret the doctrine I first set out here that the Duty to Cooperate is not a Duty to Agree as a Duty to Disagree and Delay. He seems to neglect the corollaries of the Localism Act that LPAs should ‘ ‘engage constructively, actively and on an ongoing basis’ and of guidance that ‘ local planning authorities should make every effort to secure the necessary cooperation on strategic cross boundary matters.’ Rather they should not have bothered.
In other words its worthless, naive, ill informed, awkward, myopic, shortsighted, badly written nonsense, recommending an unlawful course of action, that more clearly than any letter from any cabinet minister so far that as far as National policy is concerned its not in my backyard. But then he is notorious as a unemphatic cold fish, the Cabinet’s Spock, who wouldn’t blink if he had to step over weeping orphans on his way to work.
The inspector will file it is their usual special place for such letters purchased from Ikea.