Comment on the TVT “Vote No” flyer

Here is a copy of letter that Ross Underwood sent to Nick Girdler of TVT, with regard to its “Vote No” flyer (reproduced here with Ross’s persmission):

Hi Nick,

Your main point of dissension about the Neighbourhood Plan is about the building of houses in the village. I will leave aside the national crisis and any local need for housing and consider the TVT position. You have attempted to frighten people into rejection of the Plan on the basis of housing development, but what alternative is there? Without the Plan the village will have no say when faced with developers seeking to build on whatever site, however unsuitable (ref. the Posbrook Lane). However with a legally constituted Neighbourhood Plan, part of the official Fareham Plan, the village must be consulted on any development.

I find the position of TVT, regarding the referendum, disingenuous. It appears that the organisation has sat on its hands during the period of its preparation, ignoring the work, the research, and the public consultations. When the Plan is published you have mounted a campaign to stop it yet I have not seen you seeking local people’s views other than those of your own close circle. 

It appears that TVT is more concerned about its own position because the organisation will have even less relevance if the referendum votes yes. 

However, on another matter I welcome the plans and involvement of TVT with the Parish Rooms as this is something useful in the village. Perhaps at this late hour you could save the £13,000 you propose to spend on ‘village gates’ and put it to better use. 

Have you not heard that people are suffering from ten years of austerity and reduction of public services? It is an insult to ordinary people to spend money needlessly sanitising the village.

Kind regards

Ross Underwood

2 thoughts on “Comment on the TVT “Vote No” flyer

  1. Peter Wheal

    Reply from Ross Underwood
    I wrote to you because I was angry about TVT’s stance with regard to the referendum and you kindly replied in full. I see no problem with adding my contribution or your response to the wider debate.

    However when you have two competing proposals over the technical aspects of something as important as the future of the village, what is the ordinary resident to do? It comes down to trust between an organisation which has worked very hard, actively sought and listened to peoples opinions, and potentially will have a legal standing in the matter. Or an organisation which gives every impression of serving only its own view and working within its own group.

    Having attended a TVT meeting and seen how you conduct business I was frankly appalled and swore I would not go again.

    I hope you can see that this is not a personal matter on my behalf but a justifiable view taken on TVT and its dealings.

  2. Nick Girdler

    I am somewhat dismayed to discover an E mail from Ross Underwood that I was under the impression was personal has now been published on your website. Ross gave no indication that it was intended for wider circulation.
    As a result I’m attaching my reply to him and expect it to be published in full in the same way.

    Dear Ross
    Neighbourhood Plans are extremely complex things and having spent 3 years examining them, and the changes the government keep making to them, that complexity was something we felt would confuse the electorate so concentrated on exactly why the government set them up in the first place : quote from Guidelines on Neighbourhood Plans Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government ‘A Neighbourhood Plan is all about the uses and development of land’
    You may think we are leaving the national crisis aside but believe me we are not as our statement to Fareham Borough Council on supporting their Draft Local plan will show.
    It’s interesting that the most recent change to govt. guidelines on neighbourhood plans states that you have to identify sites for the number of houses contained with a plan. Not sure if that is going to become retrospective but if it does I’m sure Foreman Homes could spot a site.

    Not quite sure how you think we’ve ‘sat on our hands’ during this process. I’ve done 3 presentations to the FBC executive on the Plan and you may recall it started as a sub-committee of the Trust but once we realised it would remove our independence from both local and national govt. we had to step back. We did however continue to act as bankers for the Forum even though we didn’t agree with the direction they were going in. Without our co-operation in that regard the Forum would have come to a full stop.
    All our general meetings are open to everyone in the village, members or not, and exactly a year ago we gave the Forum a platform to put forward their draft plan. Hardly disingenuous or limited to a close circle.

    I think you may be losing sight of what the referendum is voting for : “Do you want Fareham Borough Council to use the Neighbourhood Plan for Titchfield to help it decide planning applications in the neighbourhood area?”
    If the vote is yes then you are saying please build 153 houses within the neighbourhood plan area because the inspector said that is what should be in the plan. He also said using District and National policy as the guideline for where those houses should be built. If FBC have to build more houses because the government say they do they are quite likely to say Titchfield have already said yes to 153 so they can’t argue against it. You may like to think that figure is over 20 years, it isn’t, that is just the length of the plan. They can all come in one development and I’ve already had one developer enquire about when the plan is likely to come into existence because they have identified sites within the area. The vultures are circling already!

    I’m glad you think the Parish Room project is something useful even though you seem to think we have even less relevance within the village, it’s part of what we have been doing to look after the village for the last 50 years and I believe we are more relevant than ever.
    Regarding Village gates if we had £13,000 to spend on them, and we don’t, we would have to look for sponsorship. Unlike the £19,000 it has cost to come up with a neighbourhood plan and referendum that the government provided. They of course are the ones who instigated the austerity and public service cuts while at the same time giving money to consultants to help create neighbourhood plans.

    Finally I do think our concentrating on the development of land is the correct route as far as the referendum is concerned. I’ll leave you with another quote from the Guidelines on Neighbourhood Plans issued by the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government : Often the process of preparing a plan will highlight non- planning issues. These would not form part of the statutory neighbourhood plan so should not be subject to the independent examination and referendum. Neighbourhood Plans can’t deal with non-planning matters”
    Some people in the village seem to think they can !

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