We are pleased to see that nearly 3,000 residents of Three Rivers strongly engaged with the recent consultation on TRDC’s draft Local Plan and submitted comments.  Thank you to all who did  – it is vital that residents have their say on this crucial matter for the district.
However, we were surprised and extremely disappointed to see a recent TRDC Press Release, which seems to contradict the introduction to the published Plan.  The Plan introduction says “After very careful consideration of all the sites put forward, it is not possible to provide the Government’s target for additional homes without causing disproportionate harm to existing communities as a result of building on much-needed accessible open space”.  The press release says they must meet the Government’s target, which means losing more Green Belt! 
It’s even more disappointing that the Press Release was issued before TRDC could analyse all our feedback, and despite the Housing Minister advising TRDC that they can take land constraints such as Green Belt into account when deciding how many new homes to provide.  Based on detailed research and analysis, we believe the number of new homes required to fulfil local need is less than that proposed in the consultation draft.
If the council continue with this position it means that extra sites not consulted on in the draft Plan will be added in. 
We do not understand how the press statement aligns with local democracy, being issued immediately after a consultation and without having considered all the responses.  We will continue to work with other Three Rivers residents’ associations to ensure that residents’ voices are heard and properly considered.