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The Paul Rogers blog: The rise in housing applications is too much
IN this week's Hereford Times, I have reported on the rise in housing applications debated by Herefordshire Council last year.
A total of 34 applications for 1,099 homes were discussed by the council's planning committee - up from 22 applications for 408 houses in 2012.
And I can see the number going up even more in 2014.
I check through the list of planning applications on a weekly basis and a vast majority of them are for houses.
Ok, the majority may only be for a small number of homes, but then you get the big developments.
I attended public exhibtions laid on by the developers for all of those schemes and the vast number of residents who I spoke to were against the plans.
Reasons they gave included the impact it would have on traffic in the area, the stretch it weould put on local services and the visual impact that it would have on the landscape.
Of course, Herefordshire is in need for more houses, but in my opinion the balance between answering that need and ensuring that the county's character is not adversely affected is vital.
Each community is given the opportunity to adopt a Neighbourhood Plan, which states what the residents in their respective town or village wants to see happen with regards to housing.
However, each plan takes a long time to finalise due to having to go through the right channels.
It has also been reported that the National Planning Policy Framework, which became law in 2012, trumps any local neighbourhood development plans because Herefordshire Council cannot identify a five-year land supply.
That just adds to the frustration of residents and campaign groups, who are trying their best to ensure that their communities do not change for the worse.
The council has already passed a proposal for 150 homes in Kingstone, who is to say that they won't do the same for other villages in the county?
Only time will tell.
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