The plans by Persimmon Homes to build 1,260 new homes in Hartlepool is exactly the type of development that should be the subject of a local referendum.
Under UKIP proposals referenda would be held for just such controversial applications so that local residents’ views are paramount and not just ignored in a “consultation”.
A binding local referendum would be triggered by the signatures of 5 per cent of electors within a planning authority area collected within three months.
This particular application in a South West Extension development has led to serious concerns being expressed by the Fens Residents Association on a number of grounds, including lack of need.
There is a housing shortage nationally, partly fuelled by uncontrolled immigration, but that does not mean that the views of local residents should be ignored and nor should green belt land be imperilled.
Jonathan Arnott MEP